Glass is just as susceptible to marine corrosion and tarnishing as metal is, yet its upkeep and maintenance are paid far less heed. However, Ritec International, with its long experience in creating and applying glass-surface anti-corrosion measures, can help.

It is well known that unprotected metals exposed to marine conditions can easily suffer – due to moisture from rainfall and humidity combined with atmospheric pollution and limescale from seawater – causing surface corrosion and staining or discolouration. Now there is an increasing awareness that glass without protection will also suffer corrosion and staining, causing it to lose its original visibility, pristine appearance and cleanability.

Glass suffering from corrosion can easily tarnish the all-important appearance and image of a commercial marine vessel. It can significantly reduce light transmission, diminishing the brightness of the interior of a vessel, and increasing the need for artificial lighting and power generation. Reduction in visibility causes risks to the safety of passengers and crew, and is also a source of customer dissatisfaction if guests cannot see out of windows.

A market for solutions to these problems appeared 33 years ago when Ritec International first introduced the ClearShield System™ for use on marine vessels. This technology is still, after all these years, the only complete system for renovation, protection and maintenance of exterior and interior marine glass.

In the first instance

One of the first applications was the St Brendan ferry operating from Liverpool, UK, to the Isle of Man. Next, the operators of ferries crossing from South-East England to continental Europe and cruise ships operating from Southampton saw the benefits of glass with durable surface protection. Since then, countless cruise ships, yachts, super-yachts and offshore drilling platforms have benefitted from durable, ‘non-stick’ glass-surface protection.

Initially, only the technicians of glass manufacturers knew about surface corrosion; now, it is generally known that glass needs protection against its two main enemies – moisture and alkalinity. Until development of the Ritec ClearShield System, the only options for corroded or stained glass were to either tolerate it or replace it. Now, the glass can be cost-effectively restored to its original visibility, clarity and cleanability in situ.

As a result, owners and operators specify ClearShield® durable glass-surface protection for the prevention of corrosion on new glass. Application takes place in the factory when the marine glazing is fabricated or in a shipyard after installation.

If marine glass is already damaged, the Ritec ClearShield System is the recourse. However, as always, prevention is better than cure, and it is therefore preferable to specify ClearShield in the first instance.

A glass act

Experience under the harsh and variable conditions of marine vessels is one of the best ways of proving the performance and durability of any surface-protection technology. Glass is no exception, and because of the severity of marine conditions, many brands of glass surface treatments have come and gone.

Durable glass-surface protection is not to be confused with water-repellence. All liquid-applied glass-surface treatments are water-repellent, but only ClearShield has more a successful track record of more than 30 years proving its strong resistance to corrosion and staining under the harshest marine conditions.

Ritec is now celebrating three decades of successful experience on exterior and interior glass of marine vessels by introducing the next generation of technology – the new and proven Ritec ClearShield Eco-System™. This latest development has already won two awards as US Glass Product of the Year and as finalist for the G13 Environmental Initiative of the Year.

The new ClearShield Eco-System has improved performance and durability. It is multifunctional, working on any glass, anywhere at any time. This new development is also super-green, with proven means of reducing energy and water requirements for routine washing of exterior glass.

Ritec International is based in London, UK. Sales and support activities for commercial marine vessels are managed by Ritec Marine Services based in the Netherlands.

Ritec International Limited of London, England, is the pioneer of glass surface renovation, ‘non-stick’ protection and maintenance with over 30 years of experience on all types of marine vessels, buildings and transportation vehicles worldwide.

Ritec Marine Services, based in the Netherlands, is a subsidiary of Ritec International responsible for application to marine vessels including cruise ships, ferries, luxury yachts and super yachts. Ritec Marine Services has knowledge and solutions for dealing with all types of ‘problem glass’ in this most demanding of market sectors.

The need for durable, ‘non-stick’ glass surface protection

Many surfaces of a marine vessel, exterior and interior, require some kind of protection against the elements. Glass is especially susceptible to attack if left unprotected. Its worst enemies are moisture and alkalinity which, either separately or in combination, lead to corrosion, which negatively impacts the visibility, clarity and cleanability of glass.

Passengers will complain if they have difficulty seeing the outside world. When visibility from a ship’s bridge is compromised, this could affect the safety of passengers and crew.

The solution is the ClearShield Eco-System™. This unique and award-winning technology transforms ordinary glass into ClearShield Eco-Glass™, which is proven to resist staining and discolouration of glass caused by surface corrosion.

Application of the ClearShield Eco-System™ can be carried out either to new glass in a factory or to existing glass in situ. Ritec Marine Service’s on-site application teams operate worldwide.

Therefore, for glass that cannot be cleaned using conventional methods, you do not have to replace it. Ritec Marine Services can renovate badly stained and discoloured glass to an ‘as new’ appearance and protect it against further attack using the ClearShield Eco-System™.

Many valuable benefits

Application of the ClearShield Eco-System™ reduces the frequency of cleaning, meaningless manpower and lower water consumption. This saves time and money, and satisfies crew and passengers alike.

The ClearShield Eco-System™ works on any glass, external or interior, including windows in cabins and public areas as well as the bridge, poolside, interior decorative glazing, food counters, glass furniture and mirrors.

Glass protected by ClearShield® meets both EU and USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) test requirements for direct contact with food. It is also been proven to be hygienic by resisting the adhesion and growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Track records worldwide

ClearShield® durable, ‘non-stick’, glass surface protection has its roots in the marine industry, starting in 1981. At that time, Ritec thought if ClearShield® worked well in harsh marine environments then it would work anywhere. This has definitely proven to be true, and three decades later ClearShield® is widely used in a multitude of exterior and interior glass applications in all types of marine vessels, buildings and transportation vehicles around the world.

Applications to marine vessels include many prestigious cruise ships where the ClearShield Eco-System™ has been applied during new construction or afterwards during a refit. Most recently, the ClearShield Eco-System™ has won two prestigious awards; the USGlass Magazine‘s Product of the Year award and finalist for the G13 Environmental Initiative of the Year.

Ritec Marine Services also has ‘non-stick’, low-maintenance solutions for other surfaces, such as stainless steel and powder coated metals, thanks to the Ritecoat System™.

So if you have high-maintenance, ‘problem surfaces’ that are difficult to clean and keep clean, get in touch with Ritec Marine Services and renovate, not replace.