Home' Ships and Shipping : November 2009 Contents NEW MATERIALS, EQUIPMENT, TECHNOLOGY and SERVICES
Launch of the Vulkan Acotec principle
SHIPS AND SHIPPING November 2009 35
Vulkan Couplings is launching its brand new Acotec Series at
Europort 2009 in Rotterdam this month.
Vulkan Couplings, which services the maritime industry with
flexible couplings, mounts, composite shafts, dampers and
engineering services is presenting a new series of couplings
designed under the Acotec approach.
Acotec is a term which, on the one hand, is an acronym for
"advanced compound technology" and, on the other hand, a
new approach to developing flexible couplings by taking the full
picture of the functional and commercial requirements.
The traditional way of creating a new coupling uses well
known design methods to analyse, optimise and lay out the
components of a coupling. The approach of Vulkan Coupling,
applying the Acotec method, is different, beginning much earlier
and covering all major phases of a successful product
development including application analyses, torsional vibration
calculation, component design, bonding technology, compound
research, vulcanisation process simulation and development,
prototype tests and performance monitoring. The full knowledge
and control of each part is essential to develop a flexible coupling
-- missing one stage leads to wrong design directions and less
In this sense, Vulkan Couplings has constantly developed its
own capabilities including its experienced TVC team, in-house
vulcanisation, test centre, compound research and bonding
technology. A full range of simulation tools and test equipment
for on-site measurements completes the picture.
Thus, Acotec is more than a new compound, a more advanced
vulcanisation process or an improved bonding technology. It is
the sum of them all, a design principle to include all relevant
phases in order to deliver products designed to perform.
The first three new members of the well-known RATO family
of flexible couplings following the Acotec principle are to be
presented at the Europort show in Rotterdam were the RATO
S+ 5H will surely taking the lead. The new Acotec compound,
transfer moulding vulcanisation and reduced inertia technology
have delivered a flexible coupling with significant performance.
The Acotec RATO-S + 5H20 follows a completely new element
design, the so-called integral design.
This design principle has the advantage of a conventional
two-row coupling with regard to torsional stiffness and
misalignment capacity, with significant advantages in weight due
to a reduction of the middle mass by torsional vibration
calculations. Of course, this results in a significant commercial
advantage for the customer.
Due to a unique competence developed over many years in the
field of elastomer research and vulcanisation (transfer moulding
with two mould cavities) combined with the availability of facilities
for inhouse testing, Vulkan is today in a position to produce
two-row coupling elements in integral design in well-founded
production processes of highest technological demand.
Already in its first stage of completion -- still under the name
RATO-S 572W -- this coupling achieves a higher power density
(TKN = 400 kNm with reduced outer diameter). The second stage
of completion -- the exposed Acotec RATO-S+ 5H20 -- will
comply with future demands for performance with an
additionally increased torque (TKN = 460KNm) keeping all
dimensions. This is also a result of elastomer research and
development at Vulkan over many years.
This very convincing package allows the use of this new
development without the usual infield investigations which are
very cost- and time-intensive for customers.
One main German diesel engine manufacturer has
already ordered the first couplings for stationary electricity
Vulkan Couplings applies the Acotec principle to its current
For further information contact:
Vulkan Couplings, Germany.
The new Acotec Series RATO S+ 5H20 coupling
SP Fire Technology is in the process
of preparing technical material to
improve sprinkler systems on Ro-Ro
decks on ships.
Under the name of IMPRO (Improved
Water Based Fire Suppression and
Drainage Systems for Ro-Ro Vehicle
Decks), the objective of the project is that
the present installation guidelines, which
are over 40 years old, should be replaced
by those applicable to more modern
Under the requirements of SOLAS
Chapter II-2, open Ro-Ro decks and
"special category" areas onboard ships
must be protected by a manually activated
water sprinkler system. "Special category"
areas are the enclosed areas into which
vehicles can be driven, and to which
passengers have access. Other types of
Ro-Ro decks, to which passengers do not
have access, are normally protected by
carbon dioxide systems.
Larger fires on Ro-Ro decks are
relatively uncommon, but those which do
occur can have serious consequences.
In recent years, several national
maritime administrations and classification
societies have questioned whether present
water sprinkler systems on Ro-Ro decks
would be able to control a fire on a modern
vessel carrying modern cars, coaches and
heavy goods vehicles.
Detailed requirements for the design
and capacity determination of a water
sprinkler system are set out in IMO
Resolution A.123(V), which dates from
1967. Some of the detailed requirements
in this are:
The system must have sufficient
capacity to deliver a water density of at
least 3.5mm/minute for decks with a
maximum height of 2.5 metres, and at
least 5mm/minute for higher decks.
The system must be divided into
sections, with each section covering the
entire width of the vessel. Exceptions
from this requirement can be permitted if
the deck is divided longitudinally by Class
Each section must be at least 20 metres
in length, and the system pumps must
have sufficient capacity to supply at least
The above detail requirements are based
on a series of fire trials that were carried out
in Denmark in 1961, based on vehicles and
sprinkler technology of the time.
In 2008, the International Maritime
Organisation (IMO) published rules that
permitted fire testing and installation of
alternative systems. First and foremost, it
is water mist systems that are anticipated.
The method of fire testing is specified
such as to show that the alternative
systems provide equal protection to that
provided by systems meeting present day
The aim of the project is to provide
technical material for more modern
sprinkler technologies, thus improving the
level of fire safety. The project is financed
by VINNOVA, the Swedish Mercantile
Marine Foundation, the Swedish Fire
Research Board and the National Maritime
Administration. Several companies are also
contributing with work or materials.
For further information contact:
SP Fire Technology, Sweden.
'HSC Gotlandia II'
Improved sprinkler systems for Ro-Ro decks on ships
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