London -- Tank-tops in all four holds of bulk carrier Sea Amethyst have recently been reinstated using SPS Overlay in 14 days, four days ahead of schedule, despite stormy weather and sub-zero temperatures, according to Intelligent Engineering, developers of the SPS technology. SPS stands for steel plate sandwich, in which a composite of polyurethane elastomer between two steel plates is used for lightweight structural elements in shipbuilding and civil engineering uses.
For the Sea Amethyst project, the tank tops were repaired using the SPS Overlay technique in which the existing steel plate forms one side of the sandwich, a new plate is added to form the other side, and PU elastomer is injected between the two.
"The speed of the SPS Overlay on the Sea Amethyst exceeded our expectations," said Trevor Kingsley-Smith, managing director of the ship's owners, Stephenson Clarke Shipping.
A total tank top area of 1266 sq.m was repaired on board the 1987-built vessel, at a repair berth in Tallinn, Estonia, rather than in a ship-repair yard, using SPS Overlay licensee SRC to do the steel work.
SPS Overlay director Rob Duffin highlighted the versatility of SPS Overlay technology: "We hired a crane on a daily basis for lifting steel and chemicals on board the ship, and SRC, with whom we have worked on a range of projects, ensure the steel reinstatement was completed quickly despite adverse weather conditions."
Intelligent Engineering said that conventional 'crop and replace' procedures could have taken months and may not have been economically feasible. As it was, steel repairs to the vessel were successfully completed in just two weeks.