Call to accept water lubricated propulsion systems

Sep 08 2017


Those attending London International Shipping Week (LISW) next week will be able to hear the case for water lubricated propeller shafts.

The case will be put during an evening technical lecture organised by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST).

Taking place on Wednesday 13th September at IMarEST’s London HQ, Thordon Bearings’ regional manager George Morrison, a chartered marine engineer with 23-years’ experience, will present a paper calling for full acceptance of water lubricated propulsion across the global shipping industry.

Outlining how water lubricated propeller shafts have been used since the earliest days of shaft driven propellers, Morrison’s paper ‘Water Lubricated Propulsion – A Case for Full Acceptance’ will explore the pros and cons of current shaft lubricating methods.

It will propose the most environmentally sustainable, cost-effective solutions available and also highlight a myriad of on board applications for grease-free bearings, such as deck winches, lifeboat davits and cargo cranes.

“The introduction of new pollution regulations has led to a return to seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing systems, especially for those vessels trading in US or Polar waters, where the discharge of oil from any oil-to-sea interface in quantities that may be harmful to the environment is restricted,” Morrison explained.

“The IMarEST Technical Lecture during LISW provides an excellent opportunity to explain how new technology for polymer bearings, shafting materials and system packages, not only increase bearing wear life and reduce ship maintenance costs, but can also keep our oceans clean,” he added.

According to Morrsion, when seawater lubricated propeller shaft lines are used rather than oil lubricated shafts or pods, operating costs are reduced substantially over the life of the vessel, as there is no aft seal, no lubricating oil, no storage of oil, no sampling of oil and no disposal of oil. In addition, there are no costly seal repairs that can add up to as much as $300,000 per aft shaft seal.

David Loosley, IMarEST CEO, said: “The IMarEST’s overarching vision is one of a world where marine resources and activities are sustained, managed and developed for the benefit of humanity. The Institute is always in full support of those seeking to find the most environmentally sound solutions for activities that may impact the marine environment and water lubricated propulsion is one such solution that calls for consideration.” 



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