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Old 01-07-2018, 19:41   #1
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Adding copper dust to bottom paint

My boat is in an area where there are no regulations about bottom paint and there is a lot of barnacles growth. I was wondering if it would be helpful to purchase copper dust from a chemical supplier and mix that in with the bottom paint for anti-fouling. Would it be affective?
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Old 01-07-2018, 19:44   #2
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

No.
I don’t believe copper is necessarily a bad thing environment wise.
Many of us drink water from copper pipes.
There are a lot of home brew additives people will put into bottom paint, like cayenne pepper. I don’t think any of it does much, and may mess the paint up.
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Old 01-07-2018, 20:20   #3
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

No regulations? I find that hard to believe. TBT ban has been taken up by all the western govt's.
You are better off putting cuprous oxide in .That is Cu2O not CuO.
It is reddy brown not black.
I have put 300 mesh copper powder spheres in non eroding paint. 2kg/l
Worked well for a year then progressively worse.
Would not waste my time again.
Most AF paints have it in already.
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:43   #4
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

Lateral,

Did you abrade the surface to expose fresh copper on the surface?


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Old 02-07-2018, 03:59   #5
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

No. Never got around to it.
Thing is, I really wanted a barrier coat AF in one, which I think is not a good combo as the AF needs to erode to expose fresh copper. Or as you said you have to sand.
I used west epoxy with no solvent, another mistake as solvent bleed off during curing makes for a more permeable paint.
Also used the ratio of Cu to west of 2kg/liter which is the ratio of copper coat. ie copper to water based epoxy which is at least 30% water so on copper content to final film build with my zero solvent brew I am low on Cu by about a kg. So all in all, a fubar.
I should do over , this time with water based as it did work well for a year but I've capitulated and bought 8l of micron 66.
I am good at going off on tangents and shooting my foot.
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:46   #6
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

You have heard of Coppercoat permanent anti fouling, right?
Works for me. 10 years the first coating, now 4 years into second use.
Google Coppercoat.
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:52   #7
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

Coppercoat seems to work pretty well when applied as specified. What supposedly makes the difference is that the hard application has microscopic pores that allow the water to circulate and have contact with the copper. Just putting copper dust into the paint wouldn't help if there is no wear to expose new copper.



Centuries ago the old sailing ships coated their bottoms with copper plates. That might be a better way to go assuming there is no regulation against it.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:25   #8
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

Coppercoat claims to be 99% pure copper powder. Its bound together by an epoxy. That sounds almost like a copper clad bottom.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:40   #9
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

Super Ship Bottom paint has a very high content of a copper salt of some nature. I use it and it works really well: it's a "hard/ablative" type paint. It's made and ships from down near Sarasota Florida.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:47   #10
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

Not all bottom paint works equally well in every area. You might look at ratings of different paints. Practical Sailor tests bottom paint and might be worth a look
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:57   #11
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

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Originally Posted by boatman1 View Post
Super Ship Bottom paint has a very high content of a copper salt of some nature. I use it and it works really well: it's a "hard/ablative" type paint. It's made and ships from down near Sarasota Florida.
Just checked the website - production has ceased due to owners’ illness.

Super Shipbottom Pricing
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:48   #12
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

cupreous oxide is what you want to add


its in the paint already you are just add a larger concentration.


good for the tropics
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:10   #13
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

Clive-
Coppercoat claims to have sold about 1000 applications per year after some 30-40 years of being on the market. That's a sneeze, not a market. We tried one of those products many years ago and after the stellar performance in the second year (not) became one of the many FORMER copper epoxy product users, who found it mainly fails.
If it usually worked--there'd be way more than 1000 applications per year by now. For whatever reason, it usually does not.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:20   #14
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

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No regulations? I find that hard to believe. TBT ban has been taken up by all the western govt's.
That is not exactly correct. There are dozens of countries (many of them Western even if not well run) that have not signed the IMO-AFS convention according to the latest list from IMO. Unfortunately that means that the stuff can be sold in certain countries and used in ships/barges under their flag. One such example is Paraguay.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:21   #15
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Re: Adding copper dust to bottom paint

MY wood boat has about 1/16" copper plating. A former owner had it done for use in the tropics. It works if kept shiny. I did a test spot as a lightning ground. It will stay clean for several years in non tropical water, but has to be sanded each haulout. I don't want to wear through the copper, so haven't done it overall. A side benefit is no leaks in the bottom and I go 3-5 years between haulouts in northern waters. I monitor my zincs and usually change in the water. Plating is applied in the traditional way. After recaulking and refastening, the hull is coated in tar, then felt, then more tar, and finally the plating, starting at the stern so the normal force of water doesn't get under the overlaps. The keel is covered, but not the shoe. Plating is zinc protected.

When I was young I worked in shipyards when many tugs, barges and other small commercial vessels were wood. Copper bottoms were still common then. But it's a big job to replace a plank.
There are things you can add to bottom paint to keep your bottom clean, but they're all illegal and dangerous to mix. If I was going to do it, I wouldn't advertise it on a forum.
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