Home' Baird Maritime : October 2011 Contents Focus on JAPAN
Underwater hull coatings have a key role
in a vessel's fuel consumption. Reductions
in the friction between the ship and the sea
have the potential to bring great benefits
for owners and their bottom lines.
Marketed since 2008, LF-Sea paint (LF
stands for Low Friction) was developed
after Nippon Paint Marine Coatings sought
to combine techniques to reduce friction
with an effective and reliable antifouling
material. It has now been used on more
than 480 ships.
The primary consideration for a
paint-maker when tackling friction is to
provide a coating that first and foremost
offers extremely efficient antifouling.
Drawing inspiration from dolphin skin,
tuna and other marine animals, Nippon
Paint developed a coating that provides a
foul-free surface, self-smoothing over time
and improved hydrodynamic performance.
LF-Sea works by trapping water in the
microscopic peaks and troughs found on
any coated surface through the
incorporation of hydro-gel in the paint.
This assists the flow of water over the
hull, reducing turbulence and lowering
the ship's overall frictional resistance.
Ships coated with LF-Sea have shown
One clear indicator of this is that these
ships have returned to dry-dock clean of
any slime build-up. Even a thin layer of
slime over a ship's vertical sides can
significantly increase hull resistance.
Moreover, the first major ship type to
adopt LF-Sea en masse was ferries, which
with their fixed sea-routes provide almost
instant signs of any shift in fuel
consumption. Ferries in Japan have
reported fuel savings of between three and
seven percent. More sophisticated
verification methods show that LF-Sea
provides increased speed for the same
propeller revolutions, or power reductions
at the same speed.
LF-Sea was applied to the 28,000DWT
bulk carrier 'Seacliff', built in 2009 at
Imabari Shipbuilding, which confirmed a
four percent power-saving during the
ship's sea trial. One year after delivery,
Imabari, the owner Shoei Kisen and
Nippon Paint conducted a study and
found the hull resistance and therefore
the fuel savings had been maintained. A
comparable experience was seen with
MOL's car carrier 'Neptune Ace', delivered
in 2010 by Minaminippon Shipbuilding,
which also reported a four percent
reduction in power consumption
compared with her sister vessels.
Having as its base a precise and
effective antifouling paint provides
another benefit for owners in these days
when ships have been slow-steaming to
save fuel. LF-Sea has been applied to
several ships that had been laid-up or were
trading very slowly. The antifouling was
so effective that even ships laid up for
weeks showed no fouling whatsoever.
LF-Sea can be applied to newbuildings
and ships under repair, requiring no
adjustment of yards' building or
production programme. LF-Sea can even be
applied without special pre-treatment or
surface preparation directly over another
antifouling paint provided it is in
reasonable physical condition. This saves
time and money for the yard compared
with foul-release options, which cost much
more to apply correctly. In the repair
sector, LF-Sea has had a particular impact,
as fuel savings become apparent soon after
application and continue over the ship's
For further information contact:
Nippon Paint Marine Coatings, Japan.
October 2011 BAIRD MARITIME
LF-Sea from Nippon Paint -- antifouling paint that saves fuel
Links Archive September 2011 November 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page