Through chemical engineering of the 100-percent pure silicone binder system at a molecular level, PPG has been able to design the optimal configuration for the silicone coating surface, according to Sijmen Visser, PPG global marketing manager, marine. This results in an increased silicone density at the surface to such a degree that slime organisms do not recognize it as a surface substrate and have no chance to settle on it, significantly extending the effectiveness of the coating.
A well-known drawback of fouling release technologies is that their effectiveness decreases over time, Visser said. This is often seen at the waterline, where the impact of sunlight, dirt and ultraviolet (UV) radiation has a negative effect and leads to the aggregation of slime.
PPG’s research and development team has overcome this problem, he said, by engineering the SIGMAGLIDE 1290 system to include dynamic surface regeneration properties. These enable water to act as a catalyst to reduce the surface energy of the coating back to its original state and thus restart its beneficial surface configuration properties. As a result, customers will experience no loss in performance and improved stability of the product throughout its lifetime, Visser said.
The combination of the 100-percent silicone binder fouling release system with the ability of the surface to dynamically regenerate makes the SIGMAGLIDE 1290 system a breakthrough technology for the marine coatings market, according to Visser.
The product is suitable for all vessel types and also when long stationary periods are to be considered, such as with floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) units. It also brings significant benefits for cruise and ferry operators as well as owners of tankers, bulkers, gas carriers, dredgers and container ships.
Visser said that over the past decade, the cruise industry has benefited considerably from the SIGMAGLIDE system thanks to a combination of its proven fuel saving, aesthetic benefits and ability to deliver a fast return on investment. The SIGMAGLIDE 1290 system builds on the already proven success of the SIGMAGLIDE fouling release range, used on more than 400 vessels worldwide including many cruise ships.
As fouling doesn’t adhere, even at lower speed, the SIGMAGLIDE 1290 system is also beneficial for the offshore industry, where assets are static or for vessels that are slow steaming but still require a high level of fouling protection.
“Over the last two decades we have received many spontaneous confirmations from customers of fuel savings in values ranging between 3-13 percent delivered by our SIGMAGLIDE fouling release products," Visser said. "SIGMAGLIDE 1290 [system] ensures that our customers can now benefit from advanced slime protection and extended fuel savings that go way beyond anything that was previously possible. With our continued quest to improve on the success of the SIGMAGLIDE range, we have succeeded in raising the bar once more with the launch of the SIGMAGLIDE 1290 fouling release coating.”