Shipping is one of the major British industries and a valuable source of ‘invisible exports’ by virtue of its earnings of foreign currencies. One of the major costs incurred by shipping companies is that of preventing the corrosion of their vessels and at a rough estimate it is probable that something like £30 million is expended annually in countering the corrosion of ships and harbour installations. Ships are constructed mainly of steel and their protection is essentially a particular aspect of the problem of protecting steel against corrosion. Aluminium alloys and newer materials such as plastic sheets are being increasingly used on board ships, but these materials do not offer quite the same difficulty as regards protection nor is the problem yet of the same magnitude. Painting is the most widely used means of protection and the present article deals with some of the problems associated with the painting of ships from the point of view of a paint manufacturer.
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