UCL Energy Institute


Tool can predict impact of fouling control coatings on ship efficiency

16 October 2015


AkzoNobel’s Marine Coatings brand, International®, today announced the launch of Intertrac Vision, the shipping industry’s first consultancy tool that provides accurate and transparent predictions on the fuel and CO2 savings potential of fouling control coatings, prior to application. The advanced science that underpins Intertrac Vision has taken over four years to develop. The work has been led by our own scientists who have also collaborated with leading academic and commercial research institutes, including the University College London Energy Institute, MARIN, Newcastle University and more than 30 ship owners and operators worldwide.

Intertrac Vision, combines an understanding of total hull roughness (micro and macro) and ‘roughness’ associated with biofouling and uses studies carried out by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) on different hull forms in order to make accurate predictions on the impact of fouling control coatings on the comparative powering requirements of a vessel. Collectively, Intertrac Vision comprises hundreds of thousands of datasets, making it the shipping industry’s first Big Data solution to accurately predict the performance of a coating technology prior to application.

The Intertrac Vision tool, which will be available as a free consultancy service for ship owners and operators, processes individual vessel parameters, inputted during a consultation and then uses multiple proprietary algorithms and models to provide an accurate and detailed assessment of the impact of each potential fouling control coating choice over the ships specified in-service period. Key outputs from Intertrac Vision include: ships powering requirement, fuel oil consumption, fuel oil cost, CO2 emission predictions and a full cost benefit analysis when comparing different coatings and surface preparation options. 

Michael Hindmarsh, Project Lead for Intertrac Vision said: “When selecting the most effective hull coating technology for a vessel, having an accurate understanding of the return on investment prior to purchasing, is a key part of the decision making process. Hull coatings play a key role in a vessel’s profitability and sustainability due to the fuel and CO2 savings that can be delivered and ship owners want tangible proof of the benefit prior to application. Through Intertrac Vision, we can bring a new level of transparency and choice to the industry, working with customers consultatively to ensure that the most effective and appropriate coatings solution is selected for each vessel within a fleet.”

Tristan Smith, Lecturer at the University College London Energy Institute and contributor to Intertrac Vision, said: “While all technology providers, including those producing hull coatings, have long since offered insight into the fuel and CO2 saving potential of their solutions, ship owners have maintained a degree of scepticism around performance prediction. The lack of accurate and transparent supporting data underpinning statistics quoted has contributed to this mindset.  As one of several academic contributors to Intertrac Vision, we aim to support this initiative by bringing the industry a step closer to a new era of robust, rigorous analysis that can help improve the rationality in hull coating selection. This should enable ship owners to explore the ‘what if’s’ and performance prediction uncertainties in such a way that they can then make more informed decisions based on the key variables that influence the performance of fouling control coatings on their vessels.”

The launch of Intertrac Vision follows an extensive history of research and development undertaken by AkzoNobel and the wider shipping industry to enhance understanding of the impact of fouling control coatings on vessel performance. This includes an up-dated study on the development of Average Hull Roughness that was originally pioneered by Dr Robert Townsin of Newcastle University in the 1980’s and is still commonly used today.

Dr. Barry Kidd, Manager, Hydrodynamics, AkzoNobel’s Marine Coatings business said: “The original Intertrac system was the industry’s first tool to analyze where a vessel had historically traded and uniquely overlaid the fouling challenges that it had been subjected to in those areas. While this promoted meaningful dialogue about fouling control coating performance, further research was needed to deliver scientific models that provide instant, definitive and transparent information that predicts comparative performance. Intertrac Vision delivers this, enabling ship owners and operators to make informed decisions regarding fouling control coating selection prior to application with a full in depth economic and environmental analysis. 

“Intertrac Vision is state-of-the-art and a tool we will continue to develop to ensure it remains current and relevant to the latest shipping industry market dynamics. In support of this ambition, we would welcome the opportunity to develop new collaborations with interested third parties and ship operators to further develop Intertrac Vision and support future improvements in ship efficiency.”

Access to Intertrac Vision is via specially trained company consultants and is delivered on iPad’s wherever customers require. A full demonstration and consultancy can be arranged. 

Additional information

AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. Calling on centuries of expertise, we supply industries and consumers worldwide with innovative products and sustainable technologies designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have approximately 46,000 people in around 80 countries, while our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. Consistently ranked as one of the leaders in the area of sustainability, we are committed to making life more liveable and our cities more human.

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