Anti-Fouling Paint and Inspecting Ship Hulls
Inspecting ship hulls to survey the integrity of Anti-Fouling paint can be easily conducted using an underwater drone; Deep Trekker pilots do it every day.
Anti-fouling paint is used to coat the underside of ship hulls to temporarily hinder the growth of subaquatic organisms; otherwise known as biofouling. This collection of organisms would otherwise build up on the underbelly of the ship which would greatly reduce the vessel’s overall performance and impact its ability to operate. A series of distinctive coatings are applied to the outside of the ships hull to counter the growth; supplementary to the paint’s anti-fouling properties, additional layers are often applied to act as a barrier against hull corrosion; acting as sacrificial anodes. This protective coating does not last forever and requires constant monitoring to ensure the integrity of the hull is maintained also safeguarding the surrounding ecosystem from any harmful materials.
Underwater Drones Inspecting Anti-Fouling Paint on Ship Hulls
Deep Trekker’s underwater drones, known as Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are the ideal solution to ship hull inspections. With onboard lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, the ROV systems require no topside power or generators to operate; allowing them to be deployed within seconds from anywhere on or around the vessel.
Being that most inspections will be done at sea, both the DTG2 and DTX2 underwater drones sport a robust aluminum die-cast body to handle the harsh ocean environment. Among the many standard features of the ROVs, is the built-in high-definition camera which records and live streams video to the operator on the surface. The camera can rotate to see what is above and below the unit – offering a 330-degree field of view around the ROV. Operators are able to pilot the underwater drone to areas of interest and capture them all from the hand-held controller.
Further inspection of the vessel can be done with the industry-leading Cygnus thickness gauge attachment. This add-on feature to the ROVs enables inspectors to easily determine the metal thickness of the ship’s hull or the level of corrosion without clearing away any protective coatings.
Deep Trekker Remotely Operated Vehicles in Service
Deep Trekker’s affordable and completely customizable Remotely Operated Vehicle make it the highly sought after solution to conduct routine inspections of ship hulls.
Prior to drydocking a vessel for painting, these companies will conduct an initial inspection of the hull to get an idea of the workload; giving them the opportunity to provide a qualified quote to their client. Once the vessel is back in the water, the painters send their Deep Trekker ROV back under the ship’s hull to done one final inspection of their work before sending the barge on its way.
What artist doesn’t like taking a step back and admiring their work; ship builders do the same. Once construction is complete, their masterpieces are cast off into the great ocean blue. Shipbuilders are using Deep Trekker ROVs to conduct a follow-up inspection of the hull for any integrity issues.
Shipyards see many vessels pass through their ports; which places their environment at high risk of transporting contraband or invasive species overtaking their ecosystem. Shipyards all over the world have added a Deep Trekker underwater drone as a means to have eyes under all the ships arriving at their port.
The Ideal Ship Hull Inspection Tool
Whether you work on a shipyard, own and operate a fleet, or captain a vessel of your own, conducting routine inspections of the hull is of great importance. Anti-Fouling paint must be monitored to ensure the product holds true to its warranty and minimizes the amount of biofouling buildup between drydocking.