• 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 September 21

17:10 FESCO delivered hydraulic equipment weighing over 500 tons to the Krasnoyarsk power plant
16:43 Ukraine’s water transport carried 0.4 mln passengers in Jan-Aug'17, up 40.2%, Y-o-Y
16:19 Vympel Shipyard dispatched two fast patrol boats of Project 12150, Mangust, to Sakhalin
16:02 Rolls-Royce and Inmarsat sign ship energy management agreement
15:26 MABUX: Global bunker market turns in the rebalancing direction
15:24 Cargo transportation by Ukraine’s water transport down 11.4% to 3.6 mln t in 8M’17
15:02 Wärtsilä marine gear boxes to be produced by Siemens
14:41 Black Fleet frigate Admiral Essen returns to Sevastopol from Mediterranean
14:02 Finnlines to lengthen four of its "Breeze series" vessels
13:50 Photo release “IAA PortNews at the NEVA 2017”
13:17 Sovcomflot CEO Sergey Frank meets IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim
13:02 Aker Solutions wins Troll FEED contract with EPCI option from Statoil
12:31 RF Navy’s Northern Fleet takes part in combined-arms exercise in the Barents Sea
12:08 Dorian LPG selects ABS to evaluate LPG as fuel and other 2020 compliance options
11:39 Fuel oil prices are still high at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:08 ZIM marks the 3 millionth container carried through DaChan Bay Terminals
10:47 IMO conducted table-top exercise on maritime security in Lima, Peru
10:29 Brent Crude futures price down 0.23% to $56.16, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.12% to $50.63
10:08 MAN Diesel & Turbo concludes dual-fuel ‘Wes Amelie’ LNG conversion project
09:50 Port of Gdansk to cooperate with new foreign partners - Ukraine and Qatar
09:32 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,449 points
09:17 NCSP volumes for 8M 2017 totaled 97 million tons
09:08 Royal IHC launches NMDC’s first custom-built TSHD
08:28 Berth rehabilitation continues apace at APM Terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey
08:02 Samsung Heavy Industries showcases in-house glycol LNG regasification system to shipowners
07:57 Wärtsilä tests its automatic wireless induction charging system on a hybrid powered coastal ferry

2017 September 20

18:04 IMO talks Polar matters in Russia
17:49 Uniper and Pavilion Gas sign LNG deal providing access to their assets in respective home markets
17:32 Seaspan accepts delivery of 11000 TEU SAVER containership
17:22 Songa Bulk ASA announces acquisition of Kamsarmax bulk carrier
17:17 Digital Ship returns to Singapore on 4 October with a focus on investigating maritime’s digital future
16:55 Damen to open service hub in Russian Black Sea port
16:48 Almaz Shipyard hosts flag hoising ceremeny for patrol ship Predanny of Project 22460
16:14 Nevsky Shipyard took part in the International Fishery Forum
15:50 Russia and India to cooperate on development of high-speed maritime transport based on Russian designs (photo)
15:12 NIBULON finished constructing B2000 Project vessels
14:37 Gazprom Neft undertakes the company’s largest ever maritime oil shipment
14:06 RF Transport Minister: waterways of Saint-Petersburg can obtain a status of regional waterways in navigation season of 2018 (photo)
13:23 Port of King's Lynn celebrates new bulk store terminal opening
13:09 Skangas’ Coralius performs first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering
12:51 WMU holds inauguration of the Class of 2018 MSc in Maritime Affairs
12:15 Qatargas and BOTAŞ (Turkey) sign new LNG agreement
11:49 IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim considers Russia to be one of the key players at the IMO
11:39 Northwest Seaport Alliance container volumes up 6 percent in August 2017
10:43 GTT announces an evolution of the Mark III Flex technology
10:14 Brent Crude futures price up 0.44% to $55.38, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.80% to $50.30
09:55 Bunker prices go up at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:31 RS describes procedure for obtaining of Polar Ship Certificates (photo)
09:13 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,415 points

2017 September 19

18:06 Samskip expands shortsea services in Scotland
17:48 Arctic Economic Council welcomes three new members
17:25 IMO is attending 34th session of ASEAN to update the Maritime Transport Working Group on its latest activities
17:06 Turkish shipyard Cemre Marin Endüstri A.S orders 4 x MAN 8L21/31 variable speed GenSets
16:39 Marine Engineering Bureau: half of Russia’s towing fleet is renovated, bunkering fleet situation is worse
16:14 MSC announces a new service between South America’s east coast and the Mediterranean
16:04 Port of Southampton completes construction of sixth multi-story car park
15:52 Turkish landing ship Bayraktar arrived in Novorosiysk
15:27 USPA announces tender for procurement of dredging vessel
15:04 GY Marinas and P&O Marinas launch superyacht complex in Sète, France
14:39 Commissioning works commenced at KN‘s LNG reloading station