Marine antifouling sector gets new entrant

TITUSVILLE, N.J. – Janssen Preservation and Material Protection – a division of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Belgium, which is part of the Johnson & Johnson Group – has entered the U.S. marine industry with a new, metal-free antifouling agent, Econea.

The company, which exhibited at the International Boatbuilder Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) for the first time this year, reported in a recent statement that its antifouling agent has now been approved for use in formulating antifouling paints and is targeted for release to the pleasure craft industry in early 2008.

“Econea is an effective antifouling option that can help marinas and boatyards meet safety thresholds established by water quality regulators,” said Dave Helmer, director of sales and marketing at Janssen PMP.

Econea can be formulated into a variety of controlled release coating systems that perform equal to or better than currently used paints, according to the company. Helmer added in an interview at IBEX that it is currently developing contracts with several marine paint companies.

“Econea degrades rapidly and its degradation products are biodegradable – thereby not accumulating in the marine environment. In addition, unlike metal-based paints, Econea can be effectively used on aluminum hulls with reduced potential for galvanic corrosion, and can be easily used to formulate light- or bright-colored paints,” the company stated in its release.

“Using conventional based paints, it’s difficult to formulate light- or bright-colored antifouling paints,” said Helmer. “With Econea, boaters will have a wider range of color options that are consistently brilliant while offering long-lasting protection. In fact, using Econea can reduce the frequency of paint re-applications while virtually eliminating the need for in-water hull cleanings.”

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