• 2017 September 12 08:34

    3D printed ship’s propeller takes step closer to completion

    A prototype of the world’s first class approved ship’s propeller has been produced using 3D printing techniques. The 1,350mm diameter propeller – named WAAMpeller – is the result of a cooperative consortium of companies that includes DAMEN Shipyards Group, RAMLAB, Promarin, Autodesk and Bureau Veritas.

    The WAAMpeller was fabricated from a Nickel Aluminium Bronze (NAB) alloy at RAMLAB (Rotterdam Additive Manufacturing LAB) in the Port of Rotterdam. The propeller was produced with the Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) method using a Valk welding system and Autodesk software. The triple- blade structure uses a Promarin design that is used on Damen’s Stan Tug 1606. With production complete, the WAAMpeller will be CNC milled at ‘Autodesk’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Birmingham, UK’.

    This prototype 3D printed propeller represents a steep learning curve of the understanding of material properties. “This is because 3D printed materials are built up layer by layer,” says Kees Custers, Project Engineer in Damen’s R&D department. “As a consequence, they display different physical properties in different directions – a characteristic known as anisotropy. Steel or casted materials, on the other hand, are isotropic – they have the same properties in all directions.”

    Because of this critical difference, one of the first steps was to carry out extensive testing of the material properties of the printed material to ensure compliance to Bureau Veritas standards. “This involved printing two straightforward walls of material – then using a milling machine to produce samples for lab testing of tensile and static strengths.” It can also be said that the 400kg WAAMpeller sets a milestone in terms of 3D printing production techniques.

    “The challenge has been to translate a 3D CAD file on a computer into a physical product. This is made more complex because this propeller is a double-curved, geometric shape with some tricky overhanging sections,” explains Mr Custers. Yannick Eberhard from Promarin’s R&D department adds that “the transformation from a semi-automatic to robotic processing is the solid foundation for even more complex and reliable future propeller designs“.

    “Material characterization and mechanical testing have been an important part of this project,” says Wei Ya, Postdoctoral Researcher from the University of Twente at RAMLAB. “We have to make sure that the material properties meet the needs of the application. Material toughness, for example – ensuring that the propeller is able to absorb significant impact without damage.”

    “But we have also been working towards optimising the production strategy for 3D metal deposition. This includes bead shape and width, as well as how fast we can deposit the printed material.” Highlighting RAMLAB’s capacity to print objects with maximum dimensions of 7x2x2 metres, Mr Ya says: “For large scale 3D metal deposition, the WAAMpeller is really ground-breaking for the maritime industry.”

    “This technology is a fundamental change in the concept of how we make things. With additive manufacturing, you can print most metallic components that are needed in principle. There is so much potential for the future – these techniques will have a big impact on the supply chain.” Class approval This first prototype WAAMpeller will be used for display purposes, and planning for a second example is already underway.

    “We start production of a second propeller with class approval later next month –  using all the lessons we have learned over the past few months,” notes Mr Custers. “We are aiming to install this second one onto one of our tugs later this year.” 

    Damen Shipyards Group

    Damen Shipyards Group operates 33 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000 people worldwide. DAMEN has delivered more than 6,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 180 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept DAMEN is able to guarantee consistent quality. Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, DAMEN vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology. DAMEN offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts. For nearly all vessel types DAMEN offers a broad range of services, including maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and the transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. DAMEN also offers a variety of marine components, such as nozzles, rudders, anchors, anchor chains and steel works. DAMEN Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) has a worldwide network of sixteen repair and conversion yards of which twelve are located in North West Europe. Facilities at the yards include more than 50 floating and (covered) drydocks, the largest of which is 420 x 90 metres, as well as slopes, ship lifts and indoor halls. Projects range from the smallest simple repairs through Class’ maintenance to complex refits and the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DSC completes around 1,350 repair and maintenance jobs annually, both at yards as well as in ports and during voyage.




2017 November 20

18:06 Shipping must be economically sustainable if it is to deliver on environmental sustainability, ICS tells OECD
17:51 Port of Goole supports region’s green future
17:29 Government of Germany сontinues support to WMU
17:06 Sokhna World Zone project presented to investors in Dubai
16:44 Sovcomflot posts operating profit over 9M’17 rising by 50.5% to USD 131.2 million
16:18 New sugar terminal to be constructed at the Port of Gdansk
16:00 Wärtsilä to deliver high efficiency and low emissions for new Viking Line ferry
15:55 Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company expands its activities in foreign waters
15:30 IMO takes part in Green Ship Technology North America Conference
15:04 Cammell Laird issues EU worker statement
14:46 Port of Klaipeda (Lithuania) handled 35.12 mln t of cargo in 10M’17, up 5.5% Y-o-Y
14:29 National Fish Resources to invest RUB 3-4 bln in creation of a fishery cluster in the Kaliningrad Region
14:08 RS class: gas carriers “BORIS VILKITSKY” and “FEDOR LITKE” delivered to the customer
13:37 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO up to RUB 12,821 in RF spot market
13:14 Damen launches cutting-edge Fishery Research Vessel for Angolan Fisheries Ministry
13:01 Optimarin shakes up BWT sector with unique promise for shipowners
12:43 IMO’s Jan De Boer participated at the LNG Ship/Shore Interface Conference in London
12:22 International seminar on mutual cooperation between IMO, WMU and KMOU held in Busan, Republic of Korea
12:01 Maersk Line and Damco deliver a block train solution for Decathlon
11:36 JMSDF’s destroyer Hamagiri arrives in Vladivostok
11:12 Onezhsky Shipyard launches floating bridges built for a residential area in Petrozavodsk (photo)
10:50 Container throughput of port Hong Kong (China) up 7.7% to 17.26 mln TEUs in 10M’17
10:24 Brent Crude futures price down 2.09% to $45.08, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.16% to $56.62
10:05 Nonius Engineering supports “Hydraulic Engineering Structures of Water Transport” Congress as its Sponsor
09:43 Commercial Sea Port of Ust-Luga performs unique unloading operation (photo)
09:20 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,371 points
09:08 EU NAVFOR’s Italian ship Virginio Fasan chases and captures suspected pirates
08:18 First shipload of liquefied natural gas to Northern Finland delivered to Manga LNG terminal

2017 November 19

17:31 Wison signs MOU with Shanghai Electric for medium large floating LNG power solution
17:22 Tomini Shipping places order for three Kamsarmaxes
17:15 Shareholders of Teekay Tankers and Tanker Investments approve proposals to permit merger
17:12 Cruise Gate Hamburg announces record growth for 2017

2017 November 18

06:35 Brisbane wins Port of the Year 2017
06:30 Polarcus secures fully prefunded multi-client project in Australia

2017 November 17

18:06 Swiber's subsidiary placed into bankruptcy by the District Court of Helsinki
17:55 Pacific Fleet warships arrive in Chuk Samet port, Thailand
17:36 Damen supports team AkzoNobel in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18
17:20 Sevmash floated out nuclear-powered missile submarine Knyaz Vladimir (photo)
17:06 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Europe
16:45 Yantar Shipyard launches first trawler of Project SK-3101R for Kamchatka fishing company (photo)
16:26 DNV GL: Standardisation can help enable the digital transformation of shipping
16:00 Maersk Line appoints new president in North America
15:58 Onezhsky shipyard lays down Yury Maslyukov dredger of Damen TSHD 2000 design (photo)
15:26 IMO runs cooperation for oil spill preparedness in west, central and southern Africa
15:00 Special tactical exercises held at CPC Marine Terminal Tank Farm facilities
14:37 Water Transport newspaper will celebrate its centenary in 2018
14:02 NCC conducts yet another groundbreaking ceremony at the Port of Gothenburg Logistics Park
13:45 MSCC Bronka set to increase its heavy cargo transshipment capacity
13:32 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Naias with Phaethon
13:14 Vostochny Port extends its collective labor contract for three years
13:02 Acta Marine's walk-to-work construction support vessel in final construction phase
12:30 Scottish Ports Group call for right infrastructure and planning conditions
12:01 Aker Solutions to provide umbilicals for three offshore Norway field developments
11:53 MOL's newbuilding coal carrier NAGARA MARU to serve JERA Trading
11:17 301 ships loaded with export coal left Rosterminalugol this year (photo)
10:53 Icebreaker Moskva set sail for seaport Sabetta (photo)
10:30 Brent Crude futures price down 0.29% to $61.18, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.24% to $55.27
10:08 ABS raises cyber awareness to marine insurance industry
09:45 Bunker prices go down at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:21 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,361 points