• 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.




2018 January 16

18:21 Kommer Damen opens Damen Area Support China
18:08 DNV GL approves latest Kongsberg Digital Engine Room Simulators
17:49 Russian Railways: Loading of Russia’s export cargo bound for domestic ports up 6.4% Y-o-Y to 293.4 mln t in 2017
17:26 State stevedores of Ukraine handled 34.73 mln t of cargo in 2017, down 9.6% Y-o-Y
17:00 Andrey Lavrishchev’s report at Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging Congress will focus on promising port projects
16:35 Installation of Belgian topside for offshore substation marks milestone in further construction of Merkur Offshore Wind Farm
16:04 Maersk Line announces increase in FAK rates from Northern Europe to Middle East and ISC and from Mediterranean to Far East
15:52 Jotun Paints congratulates North-Western Shipping Company on its 95th anniversary!
15:34 DNV GL launches new JDP to test biodegradable lubricants
15:04 TTS Group ASA secures contract with Cosco (Dalian) Shipyard for TTS cranes
14:45 New Delhi will host 5th edition of Oil Spill India Conference on 5-6 July 2018
14:29 Norwegian Control Systems delivers automation and bridge control systems to five Fjord1 ferries
14:10 Port Mechel Temryuk hanlded 1.5 mln t of cargo in 2017, up 6% Y-o-Y (photo)
13:37 Russia's crude exports in 2017 rise 7%, year-on-year, to 256.718 million tonnes
13:13 Turnover of DeloPorts’ terminals in 2017 up 28% Y-o-Y to 7.7 mln t
12:49 NSR cargo traffic in 2017 included 9.73 mln t carried by seagoing vessels and 797,190 t carried by river ships
12:28 Singapore will host 22nd HR & Crew Management Conference on 16-17 May, 2018
11:56 Three vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on Jan 15-16
11:34 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:11 Coal exports from Russia rose 4% to 185.136 million tonnes in 2017
10:50 Oceanographic vessel Admiral Vladimirsky starts research in Indian Ocean
10:25 Brent Crude futures price down 0.4% to $69.98, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.31% to $64.5
10:07 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from ISC to North Europe and the Mediterranean
09:42 Cargo turnover at inland water ways of Azov-Don Basin down 4.9% to 9.796 mln t in 2017
09:19 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,264 points
09:07 Vroon’s VOS Stone mobilised with Ampelmann A400 gangway system
08:37 MMC First Process involved in the world’s first wellboat simulator
07:03 Crowley announces plans to build new 100,000-barrel Alaska Class ATB

2018 January 15

18:06 The largest hydraulic crane in the world at Vuosaari Harbour
17:29 Port of Tallinn offers Video Guides for car and truck drivers
17:06 Number of sea-going vessels entered the port of Rotterdam up to 29,646 in 2017
16:47 Construction begins on “Crystal Endeavor” at MV WERFTEN
16:43 Throughput of port Taganrog up 29.8% 3,067,100 t in 2017
16:35 QuantiServ introduces robotised laser technology that drastically increases the lifespan of 2-stroke engine pistons
16:16 Ice navigation restrictions at port Vysotsk (Leningrad Region) come into effect from January 29
15:51 Yevgeny Savkin appointed as Director General of Commercial Sea Port of Ust-Luga (photo)
15:27 Three vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on Jan 14-15
15:04 Port of Kiel throughput up 14.3% to 7,407.376 tons in 2017
14:30 Grain transshipment via Russian ports showed highest growth in 2017 among other cargoes, followed by coal and coke
14:02 Crossing of 278 vessel the Suez Canal of tonnage 16.9 million ton during 6 days
13:48 Dry cargo carrier of Project 964, Kalevala, converted for grain transportation (photo)
13:23 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 13,037 in RF spot market
13:02 MOL announces full acquisition and name change of Azalea Maritime B.V.
12:41 Egyptian Government targets 5.7 milliard dollars Suez Canal revenues by end of fiscal year
12:05 Adani inaugurates two Royal IHC Beagle TSHDs
11:57 ZIM appoints a Chief Digital Officer
11:39 Change in communications leadership at Hamburg Süd
11:00 Ships of RF Navy's Baltic Fleet return from distant cruise
10:23 Zelenodolsk A. Gorky Shipyard lays down yet another 22160-series patrol boat of Project 22160 (photo)
09:57 Brent Crude futures price up 0.03% to $69.89, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.28% to $64.48
09:15 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,279 points

2018 January 14

12:26 Hapag-Lloyd announces GRI from East Asia to Caribbean, East Coast Central America, Panama, Mexico Gulf & Progreso
12:24 Hapag-Lloyd implements GRI from East Asia to USA and Canada
12:22 Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics receives a Biosecurity Certificate of Commendation from Australian government agency
12:19 Luka Koper volumes up 6 % in 2017

2018 January 13

20:16 Port of Long Beach releases rail facility study
20:15 Royal IHC launches the multi-purpose 5,450m3 trailing suction hopper dredger
20:12 Record fall in container volumes at the Port of Gothenburg
20:10 New bulk cargo terminal MOU announced in Poti, Georgia

2018 January 12

18:26 Latest expansion begins at Port of Felixstowe