Client : Vrontados, Greece.                          


Date : May 2013

Vessel :  Kaity L

Location : CSSC Shanghai Shipyard, China

Project  :  Vessgard™ MAK Pipe Internals Application

                 Engine Room and Ballast System Pipes



CAPPS® International has been building a relationship with Vrontados for a number of years now and the company has always shown keen interest in the new technology that CAPPS® has to offer. As we have been building our set up in South Korea for the manufacturing and coating of CAPPS® Vessgard™ internally coated pipes for vessel engine room and ballast system for new buildings, a clear market has also arisen for repairs of existing vessels in service with this new application.

Presently, engine room and ballast system pipes are internally coated with epoxy coating or polypropylene rubber lining depending on the owner’s decision at time of new build. The problem encountered with these methods of protection is failure after a certain relatively short period of time and then the onset of marine growth, which can cause major build ups on the pipe internal surfaces. This causes contamination, flow restriction and leakages which are a major concern for the ship owner when maintaining the vessel.

Epoxy paints have been known to fail quickly in this environment, with some failure incidences known as early as during the first year of service, which is the guarantee year from new build. This causes an obvious problem with the new building yards and is a key aspect of our motivation to offer our Vessgard™ internally coated pipes for new building programs.

Polypropylene rubber lining is known to last longer, with a general five year life expectancy. However, a particular problem with polypropylene rubber lining is that once it has failed it cannot be repaired in - situ on a vessel. Though it lasts longer than epoxy paints, once failure has taken place complete replacement of pipe sections is the only method of repair at considerable cost and delay to the owner.

CAPPS® International is putting forward the concept that investment in internally coated Vessgard™ pipes will be a one time investment, eliminating all of the regular maintenance costs incurred by owners over the life of their vessels. The original Vessgard™ product has proven itself in one of the most aggressive cargo hold environments in the bulk carrier industry over the last ten years. Based on this performance and the product's unique physical characteristics offering the ideal properties for long term sea water immersion, we can confidently make this prediction.

The concept that has developed from our work on manufacturing CAPPS® Vessgard™ internally coated pipes for new buildings is the repair of existing pipe systems on vessels in service during dry dock.

When this concept was introduced to our client Vrontados they put forward their conventional bulk carrier vessel, “Kaity L” as a project application at the CSSC Shanghai Shipyard in China.

Project Scope

After owner assessment of the vessel's pipe system, badly affected pipe sections were identified for repair and scheduled for removal as part of the dry dock schedule. The specified pipe sections were those which were suffering the worst marine growth and were in important areas of the vessel's pipe system.

After identification, existing pipes that were repairable in dry dock were put forward to CAPPS® and then put into the dry dock project schedule. These pipes could be removed by the shipyard and taken to a shipyard blasting and painting shop for preparation and application. Pipe sections that were beyond repair were identified and new replacement sections fabricated by the shipyard and then provided pre - blasted to CAPPS® for coating with Vessgard™ prior to re - installation.

Alternatively existing pipe repairs can take place in - situ on the vessel, and our ability to carry this out was proven on this first project due to time restrictions presented on the project. A new preparation method was utilised by CAPPS® that does not require grit blasting to achieve the required standard for Vessgard™ application and on this first project a clear advantage was shown by eliminating the need to remove pipes from the ship. All in - situ repairs were carried out in the engine room which presented a clear time and cost advantage to the owner in this project case.

Our versatility with this application presents a clear advantage and we have proven that we can fit into any dry dock scope depending on the time scales and level of repair work required.

CAPPS® Vessgard™ MAK - A New Addition to the Product Range

Our need for versatility for this new application has brought forth the introduction of CAPPS® Vessgard™ MAK (Manual Application Kit), to enable us to work in the varied environments and dry dock scopes that this new application will present.

CAPPS® Vessgard™ MAK is a hand applied version of our two component sprayed Vessgard™ product, which is manufactured in kits which can be mixed on site and hand applied by CAPPS® Technicians to all specified repair areas in respective dry dock scopes. This eliminates the need for spray equipment and enables us to offer the appropriate level of versatility to provide our unique protection for long term service and performance.

The curing speed has been reduced appropriately to enable manual application but we have maintained our signature advanced levels of adhesion and high film build capabilities, thicknesses in excess of 2mm can be accurately applied and we can offer the same range of DFTs to owners with this product and application method.

The key aspects that CAPPS® Vessgard™ offers to this application is also its 100% solid characteristics, cohesive strength and elongation. Combining with the high adhesion, the cohesive strength and elongation flexibility will enable the product to move with the surfaces to which it is applied, offering the same advantage as proven on our cargo hold applications of the product moving with the steel and avoiding the cracking failures experienced with brittle conventional paint systems.

The high film build 100% solid cured film also offers a completely non - porous surface that will not provide an anchoring point for marine growth. Conventional solvented paints leave a porous surface at a microscopic level once the solvent has evaporated, leaving the solids behind and a film which can be penetrated and provide the ideal surface for marine growth to attach itself. The low film build characteristics of epoxy paint systems also means the onset of failure is relatively rapid in the cases where this method is used, as the maximum thickness that can be achieved due to their chemistry is 500 microns.

When comparing the physical properties that Vessgard™ offers to this new application to conventional methods and considering the product's existing track record, the long term advantages on offer to owners are clear to see for this new application.


Existing Pipe System Specification & Location

All pipe sections specified in the dry dock schedule were first identified in their respective installed positions and marked up appropriately prior to their removal by shipyard engineers. 



Specified Existing Pipe Section Removal & Condition Inspection

On removal of the pipes the internal condition was inspected and heavy marine growth found on all surfaces. In some areas thicknesses of over 2 inches of marine growth were identified which would be creating considerable issues for the efficiency of the vessel piping system.

Specified Existing Pipe Section Preparation - Tercoo Rotating Blaster

The project logistics on this dry docking presented the requirement to carry out all preparation and application procedures to existing pipe sections in - situ in the vessel engine room. As conventional grit blasting would not be possible in this environment CAPPS® presented a new preparation method that would deliver the same results as grit blasting preparation but utilising a different technique with a system known as the Tercoo Rotating Blaster.

This system involves using a rotating disc head which is attached to a specialist SDS drill which we converted with some engineering work for extended drill head operation for the preparation work. The rotating disc head has tungsten carbide abrasive tips installed which creates a similar effect to the abrasive power of grit blasting at high speed rotation. The end results achieved also meet the required standard for Vessgard™ application - with the appropriate SA 2 1/12 cleaning standard and minimum 75 micron surface profile achieved.

The Tercoo Rotating Blaster - With CAPPS® Extension Adaptation

Due to the particularly heavy marine growth on the pipe sections treated on this project, the first stage of preparation was to remove all of the heavy growth with needle guns and then continue work on the surface with the Tercoo Rotating Blaster to complete the preparation to the appropriate standard.

Once preparation was complete the pipe flanges were masked with heavy duty tape to protect these areas for Vessgard™ MAK application, once applied the masking would be removed to enable successful installation of new gaskets and then pipe re - connection with a 100% seal at the re - connection point.

Conditions and Surface QA Monitoring Prior to Application

As with all
Vessgard™ application CAPPS® handles all of its own QA procedures as part of the preparation and application process with this new application.

The required blast cleaning standard of SA 2 1/2 was successfully achieved, monitored and approved utilising this new preparation method.

Digital blast profile depth readings of over 150 Microns were taken on all surfaces prior to application, which was way above the minimum requirement of 75 microns. This depth of profile would certainly assist with the Vessgard™ MAK adhesion to the substrate.

Digital monitoring of the atmospheric and surface temperature conditions was also conducted to ensure the requirement of surface temperature to be minimum 3 degrees above the dewpoint was met prior to Vessgard™ MAK application. Some delays were caused by high humidity in the engine room and it was determined that conditions for application were preferable later in the day, our project planning for application was therefore planned into the appropriate time of day accordingly.

For future projects, a method of reducing the threat of surface temperature atmospheric conditions delays would be to heat the pipes with band heaters to raise the temperature and humidity differentials accordingly and provide more direct conditions control.    


CAPPS® Vessgard™ MAK Application to Specified Existing Pipe Section Internals

The Vessgard™ MAK system was applied by CAPPS® personnel to a thickness of 2mm - 3mm manually to all specified surfaces creating a 100% waterproof impenetrable membrane and a 100% solid non - porous surface to resist attachment of marine growth.

The rapid curing of the Vessgard™ MAK system was also a considerable advantage in the dry dock schedule, enabling re - installation of all pipes and immersion in sea water after only 24 hours.

CAPPS® Vessgard™ MAK Application to Specified Newly Fabricated Pipe Section Internals

All pipe sections specified for new fabrication and replacement were provided to CAPPS® manufactured to the appropriate specification with all internal surfaces grit blasted ready for application.

As the blasted surfaces had turned during transport and delivery to the vessel we worked over all surfaces with mechanical wire brush units to freshen up the blast standard to the appropriate level for Vessgard™ MAK application.

A full range of smaller brackets and flanges were also provided for treatment and were applied with Vessgard™ MAK accordingly.

Again, the rapid curing of the Vessgard™ MAK system was a considerable advantage to the dry dock schedule enabling the new sections to be installed only 24 hours after application.

Re - Installation of Completed Pipe Sections

Shipyard engineers commence the re - installation of all pipe sections after 24 hours, sea water immersion can take place immediately after installation if required.



This first application was a considerable success and we have proven that CAPPS® Vessgard™ MAK application is an ideal repair method for vessels in service with heavy marine growth issues on their pipe system internals. The Vessgard™ 100% solid high film build characteristics offers an ideal encapsulation of corroded and pitted steel and also offers a totally non porous cured film surface that will resist marine growth attachment.

Not only will this first application offer a clear reference point for further in service pipe internal repair projects in dry dock, it also demonstrates clearly to the new building market the condition that pipes can reach in service and the results that Vessgard™ encapsulation can provide.

By offering the option of installation of Vessgard™ coated pipes at new build and the option to repair existing vessels in service this new application for Vessgard™ promises to establish itself as an important new protection method in a new area of ship building and ship repair. 

Also, whilst this first application was carried on a bulk carrier vessel, this new application can be applied to any vessel type and we are already promoting this concept to other vessel type owners including oil and chemical tankers, container vessels and FPSOs for new buildings and repairs.

It is also our intention to develop this new application into the Offshore Industry in line with our overall company diversification into this market sector.