• Underwater propeller blade operations in the Netherlands and Bermuda

    Underwater propeller blade operations in the Netherlands and Bermuda


    In May Hydrex diver/technicians replaced a blade on one of the two azipod propellers of a 294-meter cruise vessel during the ship’s stops in Bermuda. Last month a team straightened three of the four propeller blades of a 180-meter tanker while the vessel was stationed in Rotterdam.

    One of the five blades of the port side azipod thruster of the cruise vessel had a missing tip and needed to be replaced. The other four blades were in good condition and required only some polishing, which was also carried out by the Hydrex team.

    Because the ship was on a strict schedule, the diver/technicians performed both the removal of the five ton damaged blade and the installation of the new one in shifts.  A representative of the manufacturer was present during the operation to give his approval of the replacement.

    Last month in Rotterdam a diver/technician team used the Hydrex in-house developed cold straightening machine to bring three blades of the propeller of a container vessel back to their original condition.

    Propeller blades that have suffered from an impact will have a performance below average.  Should this be the case, then the engine will have a higher work load, resulting in increased fuel consumption and added stress. By bringing the blades back close to their original form Hydrex can restore a propeller’s efficiency and balance.

    Hydrex has developed a series of cold straightening machines which have been in use for quite some time now but our research department is constantly looking into ways to enhance the technique even further to improve our services. A new model of the straightening machine was recently put into service. It is compatible with the existing model and is used to restore more severely bent propeller blades.

    By performing both repairs underwater and on-site Hydrex saved the owners precious time and money. It allowed the ships to return to commercial operations without the need to drydock.