Based in the Netherlands, AkzoNobel is a global company that serves the sign and graphics market through making paints, coatings and other protective treatments that are applied to things such as awnings.
But the company serves many industries with its products, and it recently had a very interesting project quite unrelated to sign making, but one that demonstrates the effectiveness of its products: it supplied a coatings solution for the Xue Long 2, China’s first domestically built polar icebreaker.
The company’s coatings will protect the ship from the extreme Arctic and Antarctic conditions. The 12,366-ton research vessel was completely coated in AkzoNobel’s Intershield 163 Interta 160, part of the company’s International line of products. According to AkzoNobel, that abrasion resistant system has a proven 47-year track record of performing in temperatures as low as –50 Celsius (58 below zero Fahrenheit) and has already been used on more than 1,600 ships and icebreakers around the world.
“As a pioneer in providing best-in-class marine coatings and solutions globally we’re thrilled to have worked with the Polar Research Institute of China to provide coatings for the Xue Long 2,” says Jean-Michel Gauthier, managing director of AkzoNobel’s Marine and Protective Coatings business. “We’re delighted that the proven performance of our International brand has been recognized, along with our long track record and extensive experience.”
The company’s products have been used throughout the exterior and interior of the new icebreaker. These products are specifically designed for use on ice-going vessels, the company says.
The Xue Long 2 has greater structural strength than what was previously the country’s sole icebreaker, the Xue Long (which translates as Snow Dragon), and is also equipped with two-way icebreaking ability. Its first mission—which will be China's 36th Antarctic expedition—is expected to take place later this year.