Hempel reduces emissions and costs

Jun 12, 2023 | Featured Article, News

Hempel’s solution for underwater hulls can achieve up to 2.5% in fuel savings and can be applied during routine drydockings.  

Key messages

  • The SeamFlow weld fairing system for ship hulls can reduce vessel fuel consumption by up to 2.5% and help owners and operators meet emission reduction targets
  • In one five-year drydock cycle SeamFlow can reduce carbon emissions by 12,000 tonnes and bring fuel savings of up to $1.8 million
  • The patented SeamFlow system is a simple way to reduce costs and meet environmental targets without extending drydocking time
  • After drydocking, Hempel can use out-of-dock data to calculate fuel savings impact, helping to quantify savings delivered to customers


Hempel showcased its unique new solution SeamFlow for the first time in Asia at Sea Asia in Singapore.

The world’s first seam fairing solution for ship hulls is designed to reduce friction on the underwater area of vessel hulls and can reduce fuel consumption by up to 2.5%. Over one five-year drydocking cycle it can also save up to 12,000 tonnes of carbon emissions and $1.8 million in fuel costs.

SeamFlow is a complete system of coating, application tools and dedicated service, designed to reduce the friction created as a ship’s hull sails through water. By smoothing the welding seams created when the steel sheets of a ship’s hull meet, friction can be significantly reduced.

A ship’s hull has around 5km of weld seams, and although the welds protrude by only three to nine millimetres, their dragging effect on a vessel’s operation adds up to a significant amount.

“SeamFlow has been available for application on vessels since last year and, with the positive results seen on all applications until now, Hempel is delighted to share the possible positive impact of SeamFlow,” said Mads Raun Bertelsen, Marine Data and Technology Director at Hempel, speaking at Sea Asia. “By reducing the drag created by the welds on a ship’s hull, we are able to deliver considerable fuel savings to industry and also support owners’ and operators’ emission-reduction pathways.”


Before the SeamFlow weld fairing system has been applied to the seam

Before the SeamFlow weld fairing system has been applied to the seam

Coating application

SeamFlow is applied during routine drydocking after the hull has been coated with one coat of anti-corrosive primer. Two SeamFlow applicator teams then apply the modified epoxy to the welding seams using specially developed equipment. Hempel-approved experts are onsite to guide the application and carry out quality checks. After 10-12 hours the specialised epoxy coating will be dry and ready for the final tie-coat and top-coat as usual. Hempel also offers in-service performance monitoring to help quantify the customer’s return on investment.

“SeamFlow is a smart and simple solution for shipowners to reduce costs and meet environmental targets without the need for any significant additional downtime,” explains Nikhil Lakhiani, SeamFlow Solution Owner at Hempel. “The application can be easily accommodated in the drydocking schedule, and if planned well, becomes a smooth and integral part of drydock operation.”

SeamFlow is compatible with all Hempel products, which offer further efficiencies and cost-saving opportunities.

After the SeamFlow weld fairing system has been applied to the seam

After the SeamFlow weld fairing system has been applied to the seam reducing drag and obtaining up to 2.5% fuel savings