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Preventing Cavitation on a 37′ Propeller

Preventing Destructive Cavitation on a 37 Foot Propeller


Matson Shipping


Ionyx Holdfast Prop Coat




Beijing, China

Cavitation is a devastating phenomenon that has affected propellers and impellers since their invention. A spinning underwater propeller generates bubbles on the surface of the spinning blades. The high pressure zone created by a spinning propeller causes these bubbles to implode, leaving a temporary vacuum on the surface of the propeller where the bubble used to be. Water in the high pressure zone is immediately forced into the vacuum at a force of up to 60,000 PSI. Over time, these micro-occurances can completely destroy a propeller. This damage, which appears as craters on the surface of a propeller, is called cavitation.

Where many coatings attempt to address the symptoms of cavitation by being hard or flexible, Ionyx HoldFast Prop Coat solves the cause of cavitation – HoldFast Prop Coat prevents the bubbles from forming on the propeller’s surface. Once applied, our coating creates a hydrophilic surface. Hydrophilic means that water is attracted to the surface, as opposed to being pushed away (hydrophobic). This counter-intuitive approach is successful because the coating creates a shield of water on the surface. This protects the propeller in two ways: the permanent water shield occupies the space where bubbles would ordinarily form; if bubbles do form near the propeller surface and implode, the force of the water entering the vacuum is dissipated from the water shield attracted to the coating. After 3 years, zero cavitation damage has occurred. Problem Solved.

IONYX Coatings

IONYX has advanced the coatings industry by disrupting the industry. We have created the alternative to coatings that are designed to age. Our solution uses quartz, which is more robust than plastic, as the chemical background. Because of this, our coatings are stronger and will not break down.