Ice-class coating in a class of its own

03 January 2023

For many years, Ecospeed has been a leading ice-class coating, certified by class as ice-abrasion resistant and qualifying ships using it for reduced scantlings.

The original Ecospeed coating was not intended as an ice-class coating. This was discovered by accident. Incredible results with Ecospeed were reported by ice-going ships, tugs, ice-breakers, polar supply and research ships, the world’s most powerful ice-breaking cargo ship and many other ships that sail in ice and are conscious of protecting the environment.

Subsea Industries therefore refined the original coating and focused on its ice-going capabilities and created Ecospeed Ice which is designed to be a specialist ice-going coating superior to any other available.

Why Ecospeed Ice?

  • Class certified ice abrasion-resistant coating.
  • Low friction. The hull remains smooth and retains its low friction properties for the life of the ship, saving fuel and reducing emissions.
  • Due to superior protection, newbuilds are able to take advantage of reduced scantlings, less steel and a lighter ship, saving construction costs.
  • A base consisting of a resin which cures fully without becoming brittle or inflexible and has superior adhesion properties, reinforced with a high content of large aspect ratio glass platelets.
  • Extraordinarily tough bonding powers. Ecospeed Ice contains a number of ingredients to improve bonding and strength. Even in the event of mechanical damage, there will be no undercreep.
  • Completely non-toxic. Vital for pristine polar regions and other sensitive environments. Will not leave biocides or heavy metals in the ice.
  • Preparation includes grit blasting to create a profile of at least 75µm and a cleanliness of SA 2.5 or better.
  • Easily applied without specialised equipment such as hot twin-feed guns, or restrictive environmental conditions such as temperature or humidity. No primer. Just two coats each 500µm DFT. Rapid overcoat time of about three hours minimum, no maximum. Ready to launch in 24 hours.
  • The coating remains intact and smooth for many years in the harshest of icy waters and will not need to be replaced. Only minor spot repairs for mechanical damage are required during routine drydocking. Any repairs blend in, leaving the hull as smooth as on initial application of the coating.
  • Easy to clean in-water or in drydock to remove biofouling whenever this builds up (not frequent with ice-going vessels). Cleaning does no harm to the hull coating – in fact, in-water cleaning improves it.

No recoating after almost 15 years

Well in excess of 100 ice-going ships have been coated with Subsea Industries products with excellent and conclusive results.

When icebreaking research vessel RV Laura Bassi docked in Italy last year, only touch-ups were applied to the underwater hull coating. Even though the hull was originally coated with Ecospeed Ice 13 years ago, there has been no need for a full repaint since then.

Back in 2009 when the coating was first applied, the ship was still called RRS Ernest Shackleton. In 10 seasons operating RRS Ernest Shackleton with Ecospeed Ice, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) had to touch-up the coating only in areas of mechanical damage and carry out minor repairs around the bow, the most susceptible area to ice impact.

This is just one of the many case studies. Because of the excellent results the Ecospeed coating was selected to protect many ice-going ships among which the newbuild research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough and the world’s most powerful ice-class bulker,

Ultimate protection for ice-going hulls

Ecospeed Ice is the proven, ultimate hull protection for icebreakers and ice-going vessels. It is designed and formulated to last the life of the vessel with no need for replacement, requiring only minor touch-ups during routine drydocking. Remarkably easy to apply and backed by an unheard-of 10-year warranty, Ecospeed Ice simply stays on the hull no matter the conditions of sea and ice.

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