Busting Slime For More Sustainable Ships

Mon, 12/23/2013 - 11:37am
Joel Hans, Managing Editor,

AkzoNobel has released this rather fascinating video about how it has worked with Newcastle University to improve the sustainability and fuel economy of the world’s largest ships. Professor Mehmet Atlar, Professor of Ship Hydrodynamics at Newcastle University, says that he “hates the slime” that builds up on the hulls of these cargo shifts, because it increases the frictional drag as they move from one port to the next.

He says, “Ships should be efficient, and we think efficient coatings should be applied to them to reduce drag and reduce emission of carbon dioxide.”

At his lab, Altar is working on new polymers that can be painted to the hulls of ships to prevent the build-up of various underwater slimes. AkzoNobel says it’s a bit like the non-stick surface of a frying pan, which prevents anything from adhering. By testing model ships in various conditions, Altar is already seeing results.

And so is AkzoNobel, who has seen carbon dioxide emissions drop by an average of 9 percent thanks to these new coatings.


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