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Port of Amsterdam Tests Damen Anti-Fouling Film
Damen Shipyards (Gorinchem, Netherlands) and the Port of Amsterdam are launching a pilot project to test Thorn-D, a relatively new anti-fouling film that is applied to ships’ hulls below the waterline.
The film has an expected lifetime of five years. That is much longer than conventional anti-fouling coatings, which need to be replaced every six months on average.
Dr. Rik Breur, the founder of supplier Micanti, developed the film and tested it extensively on
trial surfaces and work vessels. That attracted the attention of the Port of Amsterdam, which is
concerned about the safety and sustainability of its vessels.
Damen applied the anti-fouling film to one of the Port’s patrol vessels. “We’re using two boats in the pilot project: one with the film and the other with a conventional anti-fouling coating,” Willem Spoelstra of the Port of Amsterdam’s Nautical Division said. “The pilot will run for a year and we’ve agreed with Micanti that the film has to remain problem-free for at least two years.”
The film is being marketed internationally under the brand name Thorn-D. Breur, the managing director and owner of Micanti, and Eric Pieters, the firm’s commercial director and co-owner, can already point to their product’s proven performance. Two vessels – one a tug belonging to Dutch company BMS Towing and another located in Florida – have been operating for some time after application of the anti-fouling film. The film has so far been tested up to 30 knots.
“We can now say that we’ve achieved a breakthrough with our application: we’ll be applying our film to a fleet of approximately fifteen work vessels and crew vessels in the months ahead,” says Pieters. “They include boats run by towing companies in the Netherlands, the Middle East and a tug owned by the Port of Los Angeles.”