Polar Tankers, working with ABS, Sembcorp Marine and 3D Metalforge, has successfully completed a project using Additive Manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3D printing, to fabricate functional parts for installation on board the oil tanker Endeavor.
Traditionally, parts used in shipbuilding and repair are manufactured via casting or forging techniques. For this project, the consortium used AM to fabricate three types of parts that they claim surpassed conventionally manufactured products in terms of quality after the conclusion of approval, reliability and safety tests.
The parts installed included a gear set with shaft for a centrifugal pump; a nozzle for a combined brine/air ejector; and a full flexible coupling for a marine sanitation effluent pump.
“Safety and reliability are of the utmost importance to the operation of our vessels. Additive manufacturing has the potential to offer some exciting new opportunities to support these goals,” said Robert Noyer, Engineering Superintendent at Polar Tankers (a ConocoPhillips company).
AM is the fabrication of parts performed by adding material layer upon layer to build up to a complete unit. The technology aims to allow products and components to be fabricated locally, or potentially on board ships and offshore assets, shrinking the supply chain and lead times for specialised and complex parts.