In compliance with the new US legislation
Marine equipment manufacturer Wärtsilä has launched a new stern tube seal. The Wärtsilä Bio Seal Ring is said to be the first seal on the market that works with Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EAL), sometimes known as bio-degradable oils, for a lifetime of at least five years. Conventional seal rings are recommended to be changed at two and a half year intervals.
According to Wärtsilä, the new product enables compliance with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Vessel General Permit 2013 legislation which comes into force on 19th December 2013. From this date all commercial vessels over 79ft operating in US waters will be required to use EALs in all oil to water interfaces unless deemed technically infeasible to do so. At least 10 – 20 % of all merchant vessels trade and tonnage wise in the world operate in US waters.
The manufacturer says that the extended operating life expectancy has a significantly positive impact on dry-dock scheduling and related costs. The unique features of the Wärtsilä Bio Seal Ring have been achieved through improvements in the material formula by including new additives. The product has been tested extensively and proven in the Wärtsilä Seals and Bearings’ R&D facility.