Coatings Provided for China’s First Polar Icebreaker

China recently launched Xue Long 2, its first domestically built polar icebreaker, with coatings supplied by AkzoNobel. Photo courtesy of AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel (Amsterdam, Netherlands) recently supplied coatings for the Xue Long 2 (or “Snow Dragon”), China’s first domestically built polar icebreaker. Weighing in at 24,732,000 lbs (11,218,246 kg), the research vessel was designed to withstand thick ice sheets and extreme polar climates—challenges that are now a bit easier to overcome thanks to AkzoNobel’s industry-leading coatings solutions.

The coatings were chosen for their ability to protect the Xue Long 2 from harsh Arctic and Antarctic conditions. In particular, the bottom and sides of the vessel’s hull was coated with the Intershield 163 Inerta 160 system, which provides abrasion resistance and corrosion protection in temperatures as low as -58 °F (-50 °C). Specifically designed for ice-going vessels, the system has been applied to more than 1,600 ships and icebreakers around the world.

“As a pioneer in providing best-in-class marine coatings and solutions globally we’re thrilled to have worked with the Polar Research Institute of China to provide coatings for the Xue Long 2,” says Jean-Michel Gauthier, managing director of AkzoNobel’s Marine and Protective Coatings division. “We’re delighted that the proven performance of our International brand has been recognized, along with our long track record and extensive experience.” 

China commissioned the Xue Long 2 with the expectation that it will improve China’s ability to conduct inspections in polar areas, where it will collect friction data and other valuable information. The first mission for the vessel, scheduled for later this year, will be the 36th Antarctic expedition in China’s maritime history.

Source: AkzoNobel,