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Cathelco unveils groundbreaking ultrasonic antifouling technology: USP DragGone™

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of USP DragGone™, Cathelco’s latest advancement in ultrasonic antifouling technology aimed at combating hull biofouling.

This patented technology marks a significant milestone for Cathelco and the Evac Group in our ongoing effort to promote marine environmental protection through innovative solutions. USP DragGone™ is designed to reduce drag and enhance fuel efficiency significantly, offering the potential to decrease fuel consumption and associated emissions by up to 13%.

Biofouling, the accumulation of aquatic organisms on submerged vessel parts, increases drag, raising engine load, fuel costs, and carbon emissions. Effective biofouling management is crucial for reducing friction, saving fuel, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

USP DragGone™ offers a proactive solution that complements anti-fouling paints, ensuring the hull remains clean from the start. It employs transducers mounted inside the hull to emit ultrasonic waves, preventing microorganisms and algae from attaching to the vessel’s hull and mitigating the risk of invasive species translocation.

Combating biofouling efficiently

Chris Hewitt, Product and Technical Manager at Cathelco, emphasized the system’s efficiency, stating, “The more biofouling on the hull, the greater the drag, which reduces fuel efficiency. USP DragGone™ keeps the hull clean from biofouling, which can help to reduce fuel consumption, thereby reducing emissions and also costs.”

“The IMO recognises that biofouling management is an important part of the roadmap to a decarbonised future for shipping. In addition, these macro-organisms can play havoc in marine habitats if they detach from the hull and reproduce in areas where they are non-native. While much effort has gone into ballast water treatment over the past decade, hull and niche area biofouling is also a key contributor.”

Biofouling management is key to a decarbonised shipping future. USP DragGone™ keeps the hull clean, reducing emissions and costs.

Chris Hewitt, Product and Technical Manager at Cathelco

A new era in biofouling management

Dr. Sasha Heriot, Product Development Business Manager at Cathelco, added insight into the advantages of proactive biofouling management:

“Hull cleaning is a reactive solution to biofouling management – if you have fouling on the hull you will have suffered from the effects of drag before it is cleaned, thereby impacting fuel efficiency.”

“Hull cleaning is an expensive process with a possibility of coating damage, either during regular dry docking when the vessel is taken out of service, or by using cleaning robots, or divers, which has potential safety implications. With USP DragGone™, the hull remains clean from day one, preventing even a fouling slime layer from forming, which is what creates an environment for barnacles and other macrofouling to form.”

With USP DragGone™, the hull remains clean from day one, preventing even a fouling slime layer from forming

Dr. Sasha Heriot, Product Development Business Manager at Cathelco

From concept to reality: Cathelco’s commitment

Cathelco’s antifouling systems have been successfully installed on over 25,000 vessels worldwide, showcasing our expertise in marine growth prevention (MGPS) for sea chests, internal pipework, and box coolers. With the addition of USP DragGone™, Cathelco continues to lead the industry in providing comprehensive solutions for vessel protection against biofouling, including MGPS, ICCP technology for corrosion prevention, and now ultrasonic antifouling, safeguarding vessels and marine ecosystems globally.

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