Discovery Museum, Tyne and Wear
1946 To Today
For over one hundred years the International Paints factory at Felling, Gateshead, has been a world leader in the manufacture of specialist marine coatings.
Ships’ bottoms need to be coated with special paint to stop the build up of marine growth. Ships that become fouled with marine organisms require more energy to drive them through the water and thus use more fuel. For more than 100 years paints to control fouling worked by using biocides.
In 1996 International Paint launched Intersleek, an innovative silicone foul release paint. It was the world’s first non-biocidal fouling control paint for ships. It worked because its surface was too slippery for marine organisms to cling to.
Intersleek 1100SR is the latest in the range. It uses a patented fluoropolymer that creates a surface chemistry which not only resists the adhesion of weed and barnacles but also slime. Slime begins to accumulate as soon as a vessel is launched and is very difficult to control. With Intersleek 1100SR slime is removed or released from a ship once it is moving through the water, even at low speeds.
This new ‘slippery’ technology results in cleaner seas, lower fuel costs and reduced carbon emissions.
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums collects items related to contemporary science and industry in order to tell the continuing story of innovation in the North East.
By International Paint Ltd., Felling, part of Akzo Nobel, (2013)
On display at Discovery Museum, first floor Tyneside Challenge Gallery, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
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