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New Antifouling Method for Workboats

When EU biocide regulation sets new standard in 2019, what will be the best alternative to biocide antifouling paint?

The biocide-free RENOLIT DOLPHIN S is IMO-certified and thereby complies with the IMO AFS International Convention on the Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ship (2001).

Fouling has been a well-known problem in the maritime industry for a long time. The most popular way of preventing fouling continues to be the use biocide-based antifouling paints. When it comes into contact with seawater, the paint releases toxic biocides which prevent marine growth. However, with biocides under the microscope, a new way of thinking is required. An initial step was the worldwide prohibition of antifouling coatings containing tributyltin (TBT) in 2008. The new EU biocide regulation was adopted in 2013, will set new standards. According to this regulation all biocide-based products must be approved before entering the European market.

Only those products, whose substances have been authorized, will be approved. Experts assume, that, when finally becoming valid in 2019, the EU regulation will cause an increasing demand for alternative antifouling coatings. RENOLIT is a family-owned business, a manufacturer of high-quality plastic films. The company developed a new product solving the problem of toxic antifouling coatings: the film RENOLIT DOLPHIN S. Based on the principle of fouling release, this film offers an alternative option to conventional paints.

The biocide-free RENOLIT DOLPHIN S is IMO-certified and thereby complies with the IMO AFS International Convention on the Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ship (2001).

One of the film´s unique features is the ability to turn the ship’s hull into an amphiphilic surface. Studies have shown that there are certain types of barnacles which primarily adhere to hydrophobic surfaces and other types which adhere primarily to hydrophilic surfaces. Previous antifouling coatings based on silicone have only hydrophobic properties; Therefore, they would solely prevent the adhesion of the barnacles adhering on hydrophobic surfaces. The RENOLIT DOLPHIN S film combines these two properties and is thereby ‘amphiphilic’. Due to these attributes, marine organisms cannot entirely adhere to the ship’s hull and are simply washed off by the speed of the moving vessel (above 7 knots).

The Institute for Hygiene and Microbiology (formerly LimnoMar) is investigating the long-term effects of the films in direct comparison with other antifouling coatings since more than three years. In July 2015, a PVC plate was prepared with the RENOLIT DOLPHIN S and exposed in the Port of Norderney.

On the whole, 20 inspections have been carried out checking the films for any traces of barnacles, shells, algae or biofouling. The results are summed up in a so-called “Fouling Rating” (FR). On a scale from 1 to 100 (0 = full fouling; 100 = no fouling at all) the effectiveness of the film is rated.

The last inspection was conducted on 14 June 2018. After approximately 36 months by then, the RENOLIT DOLPHIN S shows only a small amount of barnacle seeds (1 percent) with a size of one millimeter. Apart from this, a slight biofilm (5 percent) is apparent. Overall, the film is rated with a FR of 98. A conventional silicon coating being tested in direct comparison, was rated with a FR of 96 after the same period of time. However, it shows barnacle fouling of barnacles (3 percent, size up to 6mm) as well as scratches (1 percent), barnacle imprint (2 percent) and flaking (1 percent) and a slight biofilm (5 percent).

Field Tests

In February 2016, the RENOLIT DOLPHIN S film was applied to the hull of the mooring boat Lütt Deern. In October 2017, it had to be taken out of the water for repair work. It provided the perfect opportunity to examine the special functionality of the film. At this year´s SMM, Benito di Racca, owner of the Lütt Deern and Managing Partner of H.S.H. Schleppgesellschaft mbH, shared his experiences with the film. ‘We use the film since more than two years and we never had problems. When the boat was taken out of the water, there was hardly any deposit build-up on the hull. No fouling, no shells. For me, this means that the film works.’ A further advantage of the film: A part of the film which was damaged in an accident in spring 2017 could easily be fixed with small film patches.

More informate:

Reprinted with Permission from the November 2018 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News -

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  • Protective Coating Films

    Protective Coating Films

  • RENOLIT DOLPHIN S: Above-water | Fouling Release | Biocide-Free

    Above-water | Fouling Release | Biocide-Free

  • RENOLIT CORAL: Above-water | slip-resistant

    RENOLIT CORAL: Above-water | slip-resistant

  • RENOLIT SEAL: Underwater | Extra Protection and Fouling Release

    RENOLIT SEAL: Underwater | Extra Protection and Fouling Release

  • RENOLIT SHARK: Above-water | Protection against UV radiation

    RENOLIT SHARK: Above-water | Protection against UV radiation

  • RENOLIT NAUTILUS: Above-water | Corrosion protection

    RENOLIT NAUTILUS: Above-water | Corrosion protection

Protective Coating Film – Better performance and cost optimization

Films as surface protection in the maritime industry – with these innovations, the film specialist has entered a completely new area. RENOLIT is now making a strong impact in maritime applications. Regardless of whether anti-slip films, fouling release films or protection films for working vessels: RENOLIT’s solutions for the seas and inland waterways always offer the maximum customer benefit.

Wrapping Workboats: Clean, Fast and Economical

One of the arguments for these innovative films as an alternative or supplement to conventional paint coatings is the visual effect. Whereas paint coatings are often of varying thicknesses, the films are consistently thick. Moreover, they are easily applied and can effect small localized repairs. Additionally, the films offer reliable protection and durability for your working vessel. Another advantage is that during the application of the films no volatile organic compounds (VOC) evaporate. This means that no harmful substances are released and no special precautions need to be taken such as the wearing of protective clothing. Maintenance work (also welding) can be carried out at the same time as application and this also reduces downtime.

RENOLIT sells its film innovations for workboats and ships as well as for other maritime applications primarily to industrial customers. Smaller quantities for private use are available from our constantly growing network of sales partners.




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The Biocide-Free Fouling Release Alternative Film

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RENOLIT CORAL: Anti-Slip Film for Enhanced Safety Above and Below Deck

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RENOLIT SHARK: Protection Film for Above-Water Applications

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RENOLIT SEAL: The Biocide-Free Anti-Fouling Film with Extra Protection

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RENOLIT NAUTILUS: Corrosion protection for all above-water metal surfaces

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Footnote: The characteristics of the products when applied can be influenced by a number of factors such as application area, application procedure or environmental conditions. Specific characteristics cannot therefore be agreed or guaranteed. The films may only be applied by certified contractors. Please refer to the corresponding technical data sheets for detailed product characteristics. Our application engineers will be pleased to advise on the selection of the best products and answer any other questions.

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