Ecoshield for thrusters operating in abrasive conditions

Application of Subsea Industries’ Ecoshield hard coating Application of Subsea Industries’ Ecoshield hard coating

ZF Marine Krimpen is applying Subsea Industries’ Ecoshield hard coating to the nozzles and underwater components of its azimuth thruster units supplied to vessels operating in inland waterways.

The Netherlands-based company, a division of Germany’s ZF Group, is using Ecoshield on thrusters supplied to a number of US-based customers to reduce operational wear and tear in brown waters such as the Mississippi River.

Frank van der Vegt, Area Sales Manager, Commercial Craft Thruster Systems, ZF Marine, explained: “We were looking to improve the protection of the thruster’s underwater components against damage due to the debris, sand and silt common in shallow draught inland waterways, particularly the Mississippi, as well as to prevent damage due to cavitation and corrosion.”

The solution was found in Antwerp, in 2015, when ZF approached Subsea Industries to investigate whether its hard-coating could protect its thrusters from the effects of abrasive waters.

After a series of patch tests proved successful ZF Marine began applying the hard-coating to all underwater areas of the thruster. Since then, Ecoshield has been applied to the ZF 1000hp azimuth thrusters installed on 12 tow/pushboats operating in US waters.

Subsea Industries has more than 400 ship references for Ecoshield on rudders but is seeing a marked increase in application to thruster tunnels and gearboxes due to the operational savings it brings them.

By Jake Frith

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