Sherwin-Williams offers metal-free marine antifoulant coating

The following is the text of a press release issued by the Sherwin-Williams company:
(CLEVELAND) — Sherwin-Williams Protective and Marine Coatings Division announces new SeaGuard® Heavy Metal Free Antifoulant, an environmentally responsible alternative to copper-based hull coatings that prevents the growth of marine organisms on commercial and military ships.
The new product received U.S. EPA approval on June 30, 2008.
SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free Antifoulant is a solvent-based ablative coating that utilizes a metal-free organic biocide agent and provides the same effective antifouling protection as traditional copper-based coatings. Because the antifouling agent in SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free has an extremely short hydrolytic half-life, it does not persist or accumulate in the marine environment and will not harm marine organisms. The breakdown products are biodegradable.
Traditional antifoulings utilize metals such as copper as active antifouling agents. These metals can harm marine life as, over time, they leach from ship hulls and concentrate in the bottom sediment. The issue is of particular concern in estuaries and bays that flush slowly, such as San Diego Bay.
Additionally, SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free Antifoulant offers ship owners the potential advantages of added fuel savings and tonnage compared to traditional antifoulings because eliminating the copper provides a substantial reduction in weight – up to 5 pounds per gallon, or 40% less weight, compared to traditional copper antifoulings.
“SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free Antifoulant is a first in our product offering to the U.S. military and U.S. commercial ship owners — an environmentally responsible alternative to metal-based antifoulings that not only meets performance expectations but can actually increase fuel efficiency or allow for added cargo, both of which add to the bottom line,†said Doni Riddle, Vice President, Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings Division. “Sherwin-Williams is committed to not only protecting the assets of its customers, but to protecting the environments in which our products are used.â€
Another environmental advantage of SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free Antifoulant is its lower level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) — <340 g/L. It may be applied at temperatures as low as 40 degrees F (10 degrees C).
Available in red or black, SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free Antifoulant is an ablative coating, which allows the coating surface to slough off gradually, exposing new biocide that maintains the coating’s effectiveness over time. It can be used to overcoat existing antifouling coating systems, and provides a long service life.
# # #

Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings Division serves North America with a broad line of high-performance coatings, comprehensive technical service and the industry’s largest distribution system. Relying on more than 140 years of experience in formulating protective coatings, the Division provides cost-effective solutions for applications where extreme corrosion, abrasion and chemical attack are present.

*Editor’s note: Antifouling coatings are used in both oceangoing and freshwater vessels to reduce and prevent the attachment and growth on underwater hull surfaces of marine organisms such as barnacles, mollusks, tubeworms, seaweed and bacterial slime. Such growths, when attached in volume, add to the drag of the vessel, resulting in increased fuel consumption, which adds both operating costs and increases carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Application of antifouling coatings reduce fuel consumption, operating costs, carbon emissions and ship maintenance/dry docking.

By Professional Mariner Staff