For over a half century, copper alloys, and particularly the copper-nickel alloys, have proved to be important metals in the marine industry, helping to control saltwater corrosion and the growth of barnacles and algae on boat hulls and marine apparatus.
Developed to prevent seawater corrosion in marine piping systems, the marine industry soon recognized that Cu-Ni alloys have natural antifouling properties that prevent the buildup of waterborne organisms on ship hulls and offshore marine equipment. Ships that use copper-nickel cladding on their hulls do not require the application of special antifouling coatings or extensive cleaning regimes to remove biofouling agents. With fewer clinging barnacles, vessels move faster through the water and use less fuel.
Manufacturers have developed various methods of applying copper to boat hulls - the most recent is a granular copper-nickel application epoxied to hulls called Cuprotect™ developed by Ecosea, a British company. Cu