Silyl acrylate polymer is an anti-fouling paint, which is coated on marine vessels to prevent the growth of marine organisms on the surface of the structures. Marine vessels are submerged in water continuously. This leads to the growth of marine organisms such as algae, tubeworms, mussels, and other similar organisms. Marine organisms stick to the surface of marine vessels and accelerate corrosion, and increase weight and biodegradation of surface. Growth of marine organism on ships increases friction and fuel consumption, and reduces speed. Generation of marine organisms on the surface of marine vessels can be controlled by using antifouling paints. The surface of navy vessels is also coated with antifouling agents. This helps increase their speed and decrease noise during voyage.
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The fouling control paints in recent years are self-polishing polymer paints, which contain a special polymeric binder that is water soluble or water dispersible. Plant fouling and animal fouling are the types of fouling. Plant fouling is further divided into microalgae and macroalgae. Animal fouling is further categorized into soft bodied and hard shell. Micro fouling is said to increase the drag by 2% in a marine vessel. This decreases its speed and increases fuel consumption. Hard shell fouling is said to increase the drag forces by 40%, resulting in significant speed reduction and increase of the weight of the vessel. Fouling creates problem for static offshore structures such as oil and gas production and drilling rigs and offshore wind energy platforms by forming a thick layer on the legs of the structures, which resist waves and currents and cause unpredictable and dangerous stresses in the structure which can lead to cracking and corrosion.
The silyl acrylate polymer market can be segmented based on type into metal free and metal containing. The metal free polymer is free from zinc and copper methacrylate. Factors such as environment friendly nature of silyl acrylate paints are expected to drive the market during the forecast period. In terms of end-user industry, the market for silyl acrylate polymer can be divided into oil & gas and ships. The ships segment is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period.
Key players operating in the market are AkzoNoble, BASF, HEMEPL, Yuki Gosei Kogyo Co. Ltd., Geochem Solutions Inc., Arkema, and Kansai Paint Marine Co. Ltd.
AkzoNoble manufactures silyl acrylate polymer through the patented silyl acrylate polymer technology, which offers highly efficient fouling control for up to 90 months, improvises fuel efficiency, and minimizes operational costs, thereby lowering carbon dioxide emissions and improving vessel operating image. Kansai Paint Marine Co. Ltd sells its silyl acrylate product under the brand name TAKATA Quantum X-mile, which is a TBT-free antifouling coating that ensures a smooth hull with increased fuel saving. The company’s product is ecofriendly, offers antifouling properties for up to 60 months, and contains minimal quantity of volatile organic compounds.
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Companies are adopting aggressive marketing tactics and mergers and acquisition strategies to expand their market share. They are also shifting their production facilities to emerging economies in Asia Pacific and Latin America due to the easy availability of land, cheap labor, and governmental subsidies in these regions. Additionally, companies are using export as a tool for geographical expansion in emerging economies in Middle East & Africa.