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The use of magnetic patches has resulted in the offshore service
vessel ‘CM Service’ returning to work in just 60 days after its
hull was holed in the Caspian Sea in November.
The 54-metre vessel was on supply duties offshore Kazakhstan
when it hit an uncharted object that ripped two holes in its hull
plating just below the engine room.
There were no injuries but the engine room was flooded and a
diver’s inspection revealed two gashes, one 60 by 20cm and the
other 80 by 10cm. The ship was 300 miles from the nearest dry
dock in Baku and towing it there while the engine room remained
flooded would have been an insurance nightmare. The
conventional and time-consuming alternative would have been to
use divers and attempt to weld patches to the 10mm hull plating
underwater. Instead, an “Emergency Response Bag” of magnetic
patches was flown-in from Miko Marine in Norway and delivered
to the ‘CM Service’ the following day.
The flexible magnetic patches were quickly fitted over the holes
by in-house and contract divers who added reinforcing with
supplementary high-power magnets. Once in place, the magnetic
patches enabled the engine room to be pumped partly dry and the
ship was under tow to Baku within six hours. At the end of a two
day voyage conducted at five knots, the ‘CM Service’ entered a dry
dock in Baku where the patches were found to be completely intact
with the supplementary magnets undisturbed by the voyage.
Nicolai Michelsen, managing director of Miko Marine believes
that the emergency repair to the CM Service was a perfect example
of how magnetic patches can benefit a ship operator. “The patches
are extremely strong and can provide an almost instant seal to a
hole in a hull or in a leaking tank,” he said. “As long as the
damage is not too uneven, a magnetic patch that is three times
larger than the hole can create a watertight seal so our emergency
response bags contain a variety of sizes to cope with most
situations. Although we can dispatch them very quickly from
Norway, some users, particularly tanker operators and naval vessels,
prefer to keep a bag on every ship so that it is available for
immediate use. An alternative is for a bag to be stored at a
company’s shore base from where it can be flown out to a ship by
helicopter in an emergency. The sooner a patch can be applied, the
safer the ship will be and it is a perfect example of how valuable
the simple science of magnetism can be.”
“If a hole is torn into a hull and it leaves a surface that is too
uneven for magnetic patches to be applied, we recommend the use
of our “hat-shaped” patches,” said Michelsen. “These are made
from similar high strength materials and further reinforced by
Kevlar/aramide fibres so they are similar to the fabrics used in
bullet proof vests. Their shape enables them to fit over any dents or
protrusions and they are fixed in place over the hole by divers
using a combination of permanent magnets and special “staples”
that can penetrate the hull plating and secure the patch. This can
create a temporary repair of sufficient quality to satisfy a ship’s
insurers so that it can undertake a substantial voyage to a dry
dock,” said Nicolai Michelsen.
For further information contact:
Miko Marine, Norway.
Magnetic patches speed vessel repair
An underwater picture of a magnetic patch on ‘CM Service’
advances in SHIP REPAIR
27, 28, 29, 30 Ship Repair:Layout 1 11/6/09 10:17 AM Page 28
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