AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – PPG has successfully developed and is now marketing a range of copper-free antifoulings for commercial vessels to help customers stay ahead of future regulation. PPG Protective & Marine Coatings’ SIGMA NEXEON range has been developed based on research and testing at PPG’s own facilities and third-party studies.

Sijmen Visser, Global Marketing Manager Marine, PPG Protective & Marine Coatings, commented, “At PPG, we are constantly looking for ways to anticipate and evaluate the impact of future trends and legislation. Regulations around the use of copper in antifoulings are the ones to watch and as a result we have decided to offer now the option to our customers to prepare for this future scenario.”

The range provides a complete copper-free antifouling solution. SIGMA NEXEON 710 is the antifouling solution for operational vessels and can be applied during construction and dry dockings. For new-buildings where outfitting takes longer than six months, a high activity copper-free topcoat antifouling, SIGMA NEXEON 750 is specified.

Both products combine unique self-polishing zinc-acrylate binder technology with high performance to help protect ships during the new-building process and while in service.

A distinctive benefit of SIGMA NEXEON copper-free antifouling is its “smoothness from start” property. With the absence of copper, the levelling and smoothness right after application is improved, delivering better fuel efficiency from the start. Third-party testing with leading universities and test institutes in Korea and Japan has confirmed the properties and performance of the antifouling solution. From these studies, PPG has classified SIGMA NEXEON as a “low friction antifouling.”

Another benefit offered by this new product range is excellent cosmetic appearance. Because there is not copper, there is no so-called “whitening” effect. Sijmen Visser noted, “For prolonged outfitting periods, common for new-building FPSOs, drill ships and offshore structures and also for shorter outfitting periods of general commercial ships, there is an increasing demand for vessels to look good at delivery both above and below the water line. SIGMA NEXEON 710 and 750 are ideal as initial and finishing coats to keep vessel hulls clean under water whilst providing a brand new cosmetic finish above the water line.”

The SIGMA NEXEON antifouling was recently applied to the underwater hulls of four new-building drill ships, NORBE VIII, NORBE IX, NORBE X and NORBE XI, in operation offshore Brazil for Odebrecht Oil & Gas Limited.

Odebrecht wanted to keep the hulls clean from fouling and free from discoloration while stationary in seawater to minimize cleaning costs before delivery to the field. Following the successful completion of the project, PPG was awarded a certificate of appreciation by OOG for its commitment to safety, outstanding coating quality and excellent performance.