A quick turnaround of rubber seals for ship heading to dry dock
18th June, 2020
Aquaseal Rubber was approached by a ship owner earlier this year, enquiring about marine seals for his vessel. The turnaround had to be quick as the ship was about to go in to the dry dock for a major overhaul to be converted in to a subsea cable-laying vessel.
The project began with a few questions from the client:
1. “Have you got any experience in the subsea cable industry?” Yes, we have worked with many local and national based ship repair yards over the last 40 years, so we know a lot about vessels and their requirements.
2. “Could you advise the best material to use on a seawater clamp application?” Yes, we can look at the application and use of the rubber before offering the best option for that application.
3. “What is your current workload like for delivery times?” Our lead time is currently around 2-3 working weeks, but we can shuffle some orders around to help with dry docking speeds as we understand they run on a tight schedule.
Next, we received the drawings and environment of use. From here, we proceeded to assess the sizes of the items and came to the conclusion that they needed to be hand-fabricated from 50mm thick nitrile rubber, with a total thickness of 120mm. The customer also provided a list of pipe sizes that the seals would be used in conjunction with, in the end, we created five different centre holes with the same outer sizes to match the requirements.
The next step involved the material being laminated and bonded together, then we used water jet cutting to cut out the holes in the centre of each part. We use a water jet here as it allows us to cut with high precision, in the exact location needed. After this, we added the top outer flange area with bolt holes which will hold the rubber securely in position.
From the order number being received to delivery to the vessel it took only 10 working days! We received a phone call seven days later from the captain of the vessel, “Thank you very much for the quick turnaround, the seals are working better than ever expected!”. It’s nice to get positive customer feedback.