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  • 2021 November 24 12:58

    ABS approves 3D printed spare parts after successful testing on an oil tanker

    ABS, ConocoPhillips Polar Tankers, Sembcorp Marine Ltd and 3D Metalforge have taken a significant step to make additive manufacturing (AM) - also known as 3D printing - a reality in the marine industry through a joint development project. Parts fabricated by AM and installed on an oil tanker six months ago have been validated to be in good working condition, according to ABS release.

    This pioneering AM project started in February 2021 with the fabrication and lab-testing of functional additive manufactured parts, which were then installed on board the oil tanker Polar Endeavour. After six months in operation, all parts have since been retrieved and inspected by the vessel’s crew, followed by a remote survey by ABS.

    Additive Manufacturing or 3D printing is the fabrication of parts by adding material layer by layer. It means products and components can be fabricated locally or potentially on board ships and offshore assets, shrinking the supply chain and lead times for specialized and complex parts, introducing new efficiencies driven by design innovation, reduced manufacturing time, and improvements in parts availability.

    Traditional parts used in shipbuilding and repair are manufactured via casting or forging techniques. For this project, the consortium utilized AM to fabricate three types of parts that meet or may even exceed conventionally manufactured products in terms of quality. ABS has now approved these additive manufactured spare parts after successful onboard testing on an oil tanker.

    An ejector nozzle for fresh water generator which increases the fluid velocity to transform high static pressure into velocity pressure.

    ABS has been supporting the industry with the introduction of AM since 2017. In 2021, the ABS Guide for Additive Manufacturing was published, focusing on two main categories of metal AM processes: Powder Bed Fusion and Directed Energy Deposition. The Guide defines the ABS approval and certification process for AM facilities and AM parts by providing standards for AM design, feedstock material, pre-build, build and post-build processes, inspection and testing. The Guide includes a strong focus on the quality of the materials and of the manufacturing process, both of which are key elements of the ABS process.




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