Marine Growth Prevention System / Antifouling System

What is Marine Growth?

Ships while sailing use seawater for several purposes. The seawater is used in the ship’s system and discharged after the use. However, seawater contains several marine organisms which enter the ship along with the seawater and deposit and flourish on the parts of the ship’s system. If preventive measures are not taken, the marine growth can cause damage to the particular part in the long run. In this article we will learn about the causes and effects of marine growth in a ship’s system along with the measures to fight it.

What Causes Marine Growth?

Sea water contains both macro and micro marine organisms such as sea worm, molluscs barnacles, algae, hard shells like acorn barnacles etc. These organisms stick to the surface of the ship and flourish over there, resulting in marine growth.

Marine fouling can form huge clusters of marine growth inside the piping system of the ship. This is mainly caused because of the entering of the seawater into the seawater system. The organisms find the perfect spot inside the system wherein the environmental conditions and other relevant factors such as temperature, ph, nutrients etc are appropriate for them to breed and disseminate.

Effects of Marine Growth

As the marine organisms flourish they block and narrow the passage of cooling water in the ship’s system resulting in the following factors:

  •    Impairing the heat transfer system.
  •    Overheating of several water-cooled machineries.
  •    Increase in the rate of corrosion and thinning of pipes.
  •    Reduced efficiency which can lead to loss of vessel speed
    and loss of time.
Fighting Marine Growth
Fighting Marine Growth

To avoid formation of marine growth , MGPS or Marine Growth Prevention System is used onboard ship. Description and working of MGPS is as follows.

Basic principle on which MGPS runs is electrolysis. The process involves usage of Copper, Aluminum and Ferrous Anodes. The anodes are normally fixed in pairs in the main Sea Chests or in Sea Strainers and Reactions Tanks where they are in the direction of the flow of water.

Two main objectives are reached: The total cleaning up of molluscs, crustaceans and algae in one hand and, on the other, the protection against corrosion in the whole system where the seawater flows, either in pipelines, valves or any other machinery.

The system consists of a Control Unit which supplies impressed current to anodes and monitors the same. While in operation, the copper anode produces ions, which are carried away by the sea water into the piping and machinery system. Concentration of copper in the solution is less then 2 parts per billion but enough to prevent marine life from settling.

Control Unit

Due to the impressed current, the Copper , Aluminum or Ferrous Anodes produce ions, which spread over the system and produce a anti fouling and anti corrosive film over the Sea Water Pipelines , Intercoolers, Condensors, Heat Exchangers, Valves, Refrigeration Systems , Box Coolers and AC units internally. Increasing seawater circulation and eliminating corrosion in the pipelines, increasing its duration and efficiency. That means energy savings.

Cathodic Marine Engineering

A system from Cathodic Marine Engineering designed to suit the application will keep cooling systems free of marine bio-fouling, extend the life expectancy of machinery, and offers a fully automatic system requiring minimal supervision by ships’ staff. The system is the most cost-effective with low energy and maintenance expenses.


Cu / Al Generating System "DEFOURON" anodes.