• Underwater propeller repair in Uruguay with new generation equipment

    Underwater propeller repair in Uruguay with new generation equipment

    27/02/2015

    Recently a diver/technician team performed a successful propeller blade cropping operation on a 190-meter bulker at anchorage in Punta del Este, Uruguay. An underwater inspection revealed that all five blades were bent severely, with three of the blades bent over more than 90°. Cropping was the only option.

    By taking advantage of the in-house developed cold straightening technique, damaged blades can be straightened underwater. This allows a ship to return to commercial operations without the need to drydock. Optimum efficiency of the propellers can be restored by bringing the blades back to their original form.

    With the five blades of the bulk carrier’s propeller severely bent, a fast, on-site solution was needed to restore the propeller’s balance with a minimal loss of efficiency. Hydrex diver/technicians are trained to carry out repairs underwater in the shortest possible time frame. A team was therefore rapidly mobilized to the ship’s location to restore the damaged blades to as close to their original condition as possible.

    After the equipment arrived at the vessel’s location the team started the underwater operation with a detailed survey of the affected propeller blades. The team then used the information acquired during the inspection to calculate and determine the correct measurements needed to crop the propeller blades. Next the divers cropped the blades. When the cropping was complete, the blades were polished to make sure that any remaining loss of efficiency would be minimal.

    Conclusion
    Our R&D department is constantly looking into ways to enhance the available propeller repair techniques even further to improve our services. New models of both the straightening and the cutting machines have recently been put into service. These allow us to straighten blades that could previously only be cropped and to crop extremely damaged blades with only a minimal loss of efficiency for the propeller. Both types of repairs can be carried out on-site and underwater, allowing the ship to return to commercial operations without the need to drydock.

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