What is Fouling?

Fouling is an unwanted growth of biological material known as microfouling and macrofouling. Microfouling refers to the formation of biofilm and adhesion to the surface, and macrofouling refers to the attachment of organisms such as barnacles, diatoms and seaweed to create a fouling community on a surface submerged in water. The main role of a marine antifouling coating system is to limit the increase in frictional resistance.

Why do ships need to be protected from this?

Ship bottoms that are not protected by antifouling systems can accumulate 150 kg of fouling per square metre in less than six months at sea. On a very large crude oil tanker with 40,000 square metres of underwater surface, this would result in up to 6,000 tonnes of fouling. Even a small amount of fouling can lead to an increase in fuel consumption of up to 40%, as the resistance to movement is increased. A clean ship can sail faster and with less energy.

Why does effective protection save money?

The HATAG FRF anti-fouling system saves money in several ways:

  • Direct fuel savings by keeping the hull free of fouling organisms
  • Extended dry-docking interval
  • Less maintenance and servicing work and costs
  • Increased availability of vessels – as they do not have to spend as much time in dry dock