ABS, ConocoPhillips Polar Tankers, Sembcorp Marine and 3D Metalforge have taken a significant step to make additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, a reality in the marine industry.
amely, through a joint development project, parts fabricated by AM and installed on an oil tanker six months ago have now been validated to be in good working condition.
This AM project began in February 2021 with the fabrication and lab-testing of functional additive manufactured parts, which were then installed on board the oil tanker Polar Endeavour.
The three parts were:
- Gear set and gear shaft for boiler fuel supply pump: The gear set comprises a drive gear which rotates the idle gear connected to the pump which creates a suction force to fill the void with fluid. The shaft connects the impeller to the motor/engine, which is the power source.
- Flexible coupling for marine sanitation devices pump: The flexible coupling connects a driver shaft to a driven shaft for power transmission. The two shafts include metal components for two coupling sleeves and non-metallic components for coupling spider which permit misalignment adjustments.
- An ejector nozzle for fresh water generator which increases the fluid velocity to transform high static pressure into velocity pressure.
After six months in operation, all parts have since been retrieved and inspected by the vessel’s crew, followed by a remote survey by ABS.
It’s an important step forward for a technology that certainly has a significant role to play in the future of the marine industry. ABS is committed to ensuring these types of parts are introduced without compromising safety
Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Technology, said.
With additive manufacturing products and components can be fabricated locally or potentially on board ships and offshore assets, reducing the supply chain and lead times for specialized and complex parts.
“The success of this project augurs well for the adoption of AM in the marine industry”, Sembcorp Marine Head of Research & Development, Simon Kuik, stated, with Matthew Waterhouse, 3D Metalforge Managing Director, adding that:
The inspection and validation of these additively manufactured components support our belief in this technology and its application. This exposure to Additive Manufacturing’s capabilities will broaden its commercial applications and acceptance in the future