South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has applied a new environmentally friendly, solvent-free coating on a 7,500m³ liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier.
The coating has been jointly developed by SHI and Jotun, a Norway-based paint manufacture.
To make itself safe from fire and explosion hazards, the paint does not contain any solvent, which is a type of volatile organic compound used to reduce the thickness of paints for better application.
The coating is safe for humans and can provide the same viscosity as those offered by existing solvent-based solutions with only one coat.
It is expected to reduce the construction period and eventually results in increased productivity.
SHI R&D Center Production head SeongKil Nam said: “In terms of painting, the automation technology is lagging way behind because existing solvent coatings pose an explosion hazard.
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“I believe that the application of the solvent-free coating to commercial vessels will trigger automation development such as robotic painting and further enhance the painting productivity.”
The South Korean shipbuilders are required to gradually install tens of billions worth of air pollution facilities by 2020 in accordance with the government’s stringent environmental regulations on hazardous air pollutants (HPAa).
The newly developed solvent-free coating could help the South Korean shipbuilders to comply with the regulations.
South Korea Offshore and Shipbuilding Association executive director ByeongSe Yoo said: “Most of the hazardous pollutants emitted from shipyards is volatile organic compounds generated from the existing solvent coatings.
“Since the solvent-free coating can become a solution to reduce air pollution, further discussion is needed to extend its application in the industry in the future.”