Innovations
Published: March 22, 2023
Innovations
Published: March 22, 2023

Steve Riley: Gliding Towards Sustainable Shipping with PPG SIGMAGLIDE 2390

Steve Riley works as technical sales support manager for PPG’s global marine business. Not only is he a key nexus between customers and all there is to know about our marine paints, he also eagerly supports the marine team during webinars and product presentations. The PPG Protective and Marine Coatings business that Steve works with develops coatings for ships. With every product launched, the focus is on innovation, efficiency and sustainability. The newest product, PPG SIGMAGLIDE® 2390, is a silicone-based, biocide-free fouling release coating which has the PPG HydroReset™ Technology incorporated.

Sigmaglide 2390: Instant Power Savings

The mission of the Sigmaglide product line is to translate the advanced technologies used by PPG into environmental as well as financial benefits for our customers. This means that not only is Sigmaglide 2390 biocide-free, but it can also dramatically reduce power consumption and carbon emissions in comparison to traditional antifoulings.

"If you allow fouling organisms to grow on the bottom of the vessel, its resistance becomes greater and you need more power. More power means more fuel is burned, which is expensive, and it also means more CO2 being emitted."

The fouling release system of Sigmaglide 2390 prevents marine species from attaching to the bottom of a ship and being transported to a different part of the world, where it could "cause considerable damage to the local marine environment, having no natural predators." Such a situation can also have a financial impact on local fishermen, when a foreign species comes in and disrupts a stock that they farm.

The surface covered in Sigmaglide 2390 is difficult to stick to for organisms because it is silicone-based. It is a principle somewhat similar to the one used in non-stick frying pans, called low surface energy.

The organisms get a false sense of security. They think they've attached on to the surface, but they haven't. When the vessel starts to move, the water pressure easily washes them off.

What is it that enables the Sigmaglide 2390 coating to literally glide through water? Steve explains the PPG HydroReset Technology:

When Sigmaglide 2390 is immersed in water, the HydroReset technology senses the presence of water molecules and instantly reorganizes the surface profile of the coating at a nano scale to generate a super smooth ultra-low friction surface. The low frictional resistance of the coating delivers significant, long-lasting hydrodynamic benefits and provides a highly effective non-stick surface that marine organisms do not recognize and cannot adhere to.

This results in outstanding fouling control that can deliver up to 150 days of idle performance which is achieved with no release of biocides into the oceans.

Reducing CO2 Emissions for Future Dividends 

Steve explains that since 2008, the number of ships that transport goods has grown by 90 %. By 2030, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has put into place targets to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 % compared to the 2008 figure. In marine terms, this is a very short timeline, as such innovations can take long to implement.

Out of the planned 40 % CO2 reductions, the industry is already at 17 %. "There's constant progress. With Sigmaglide 2390, we sail towards the goal."

Sigmaglide 2390 is a very smooth, low surface energy coating. Thanks to that, it needs less power to move the vessel at the same speed. And that is just brilliant for us, because it also means less CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere.

Sigmaglide 2390 enables vessels to maintain a clean hull and reduce drag, achieving power savings of up to 20 %, a speed loss performance of less than 1 %, and up to 35 % reduction in carbon emissions in comparison to traditional antifouling coating. The actual performance will depend on the ship model and operating conditions.

An Ocean of Things to Be Passionate About

For a 10-year period before encountering Sigma, Steve worked in the industrial flooring sector. Afterwards, he joined what was Sigma Coatings at the time, and was acquired by PPG later down the line. Steve has been with our company for 21 years holding several positions in technical and in sales. And each of his days at work is seasoned by his unstoppable drive and passion.

Despite not being directly involved in the commercial side of the business at this point in his career, Steve has a big say when it comes to supporting the sales team in their endeavors to expand the business. "The sales team will contact me if they’re unsure or looking for confirmation that their recommendations to customers are correct."

Steve starts his work early in the morning by responding to the influx of questions from the Asia Pacific team. He also provides support for the marketing team with webinars and presentations to internal and external customers, where his speaking skills, combined with in-depth knowledge and many years of experience, prove to be a valuable asset.

"Each day something different happens, something exciting, such as starting to work on a new project, or showing a presentation to customers."

Steve's job is very customer-driven and oftentimes, the marine coatings projects he is working on can change on the go. This unpredictable part is what he really enjoys about his role.

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