ZF Marine Krimpen is applying Subsea Industries’ Ecoshield hard coating to the nozzles and underwater components of its azimuth thruster units supplied to vessels operating in inland waterways.

In the thruster market since 1973, ZF Marine Krimpen designs and produces a wide range of steerable and transverse thrusters. The Netherlands-based company, a division of Germany’s ZF Group, is using Ecoshield on thrusters supplied to a number of US-based customers to reduce operational wear and tear in brown waters such as the Mississippi River.

Frank van der Vegt, Area Sales Manager, Commercial Craft Thruster Systems, ZF Marine, explained: “We were looking to improve the protection of the thruster’s underwater components against damages due to the debris, sand and silt common in shallow draught inland waterways, particularly the Mississippi, as well as to prevent damage due to cavitation and corrosion.”

“We offer the Ecoshield-coated thruster as an option, but it is a very good solution for increasing the life of thruster installations aboard tugs and pushboats operating in shallow waters,” said van der Vegt. “We can see a really big improvement. They are less prone to damage, reducing maintenance and operational costs. We see these benefits not only with the towboat application, but also other applications such as harbour tugs and passenger vessels.”