AIDA Cruises’ AIDAcara has undergone a hull coating – the first full application of this product to a cruise ship – that claims to potentially cut fuel consumption by more than 10% compared to standard self-polishing antifouling (SPC).
Nippon Paint Marine applied its Aquaterras hull coating to the 38,531-gt cruise vessel.
A statement explained that AIDA Cruises’ decision to use the coating followed the success of test patches on a number of Carnival Corp’s cruise ships. Nippon Paint’s research has shown that using Aquaterras can potentially reduce fuel consumption by more than 10% compared to standard SPCs, due to the coating’s “ultra-smooth surface and low friction attributes”.
After carrying out surface preparation by full hydro-blasting during the vessel’s scheduled drydocking in February at CNdM Marseille, France, all underwater areas of AIDAcara’s hull were coated with Aquaterras – which Nippon Paint Marine claims is the world’s only biocide-free self-polishing antifouling coating. The coating was applied using standard equipment and without complicated masking, a process that often extends the application time for silicone-type foul-release coatings.
“This application is the result of a long-standing project with Nippon Paint Marine to find an environmentally sustainable way of reducing ships’ energy consumption,” said Carnival Maritime superintendent, innovation and energy management Jukka Ignatius.
“The feedback from joint testing and in-water inspections of test patches applied to our ships over the past three years has shown Aquaterras to be an effective antifouling that does not leach hazardous biocides into the water column. The expected reduced frictional resistance also helps towards reducing fuel consumption and, consequently, emissions, which is very much in keeping with our overall strategy of reducing the impact of operations on the marine environment,” Mr Ignatius said.
Nippon Paint Marine said Aquaterras is a patent-protected micro-domain SPC antifouling material based on a formulated mix of hydrophilic and hydrophobic components, “similar to the technology used to create artificial hearts and blood vessels where surfaces are required to suppress platelet aggregation”.
It adds “It contains no heavy biocidal pigments, active ingredients nor silicone but is proven to reduce ship’s drag by up to 10%.”