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New HEMPASIL X3 Hydrogel Silicone Fouling Release Guarantees Fuel Savings

Published on 2008-11-27. Author : SpecialChem

For the first time, shipowners can use a fouling release system that guarantees to reduce a vessel's fuel consumption by at least 4-8 per cent within the first year, depending on the type of ship. HEMPASIL X3, a new third-generation system launched by Hempel A/S end of November 2008, has already been proven in sea trials. It's been shown to cut a vessel's fuel bill by up to USD 1.5 million each year - and can also significantly lower CO2 emissions to reduce a vessel's carbon footprint.

The HEMPASIL X3 system is the only fouling release system in the industry to feature pioneering hydrogel technology. The system comes as a package that includes the paint system, the fuel saving guarantee and a third-party fuel monitoring system, making it simple for users to really measure the fuel saving benefits.

"This is the first time that a paint supplier has offered a complete fouling release package that gives the ship operator a fuel performance monitoring tool and guarantees a fast return on investment based on fuel savings," says Torben Rasmussen, Group Product Manager at Hempel.

HEMPASIL X3 uses hydrogel silicone to prevent fouling on a vessel's hull. The concept is simple: the super water-absorbent hydrogel forms a polymeric network over the hull. Organisms perceive the hull as a liquid and not a solid surface - and as a result, don't try to catch hold. The hydrogel layer is effectively backed up by silicone, known for its self-cleaning properties.

HEMPASIL X3 can be specified for 90-month service intervals, and unlike other fouling release products it works at speeds as low as 8 knots and is still effective at 50 per cent activity levels. This means longer intervals between dry docking, and at the same time makes fouling release coatings relevant for a greater range of ships.

The fuel saving effects of HEMPASIL X3 have been documented through extensive towing tank studies and confirmed by real-life applications on more than 20 vessels. As part of the package, customers also receive a third-party fuel monitoring system - SeaTrend from FORCE Technology - that measures and documents fuel savings.

Kjeld Roar Jensen, Product Manager at FORCE Technology, explains: "A system like SeaTrend is absolutely essential to make a sound evaluation of a ship's fuel performance and, in particular, assess the performance of the hull and propeller."

As well as cutting fuel bills, HEMPASIL X3 can also reduce a vessel's CO2 emissions - a valuable asset as many shipowners strive to reduce their fleet's carbon footprint. Torben Rasmussen comments: "HEMPASIL X3 can also significantly reduce the carbon footprint for ship operators. To put it in perspective, if the entire world fleet cut fuel consumption by 8 per cent, the fleet's carbon footprint would drop by 80 million tonnes per year - that's a reduction equal to the yearly CO2 emissions of the Philippines." For a large crude carrier with an activity level of 80%.

About Hempel:

The Hempel Group is a world leader in the production and sale of protective coatings within the marine, container, yacht, decorative and protective market segments. Hempel has 20 factories, 47 sales offices, three research and development centres, and more than 130 stock points located strategically around the world.

Source: Hempel

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