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Monday, April 15, 2019 

Damen Marine Components (DMC), through its Van der Velden Marine Systems brand, has responsibility for the detail engineering and manufacturing of the rudder and steering gear system for Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) 'Nuyina' for the Australian government’s Antarctic Division.

DMC has now completed supply and installation of a number of critical systems. The rudders were designed and engineered by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) as free-hanging, full-spade rudders. These deliver optimum hydrodynamic properties but had not previously been employed  for an icebreaking vessel of this class, given the forces involved. Other innovative features include the integrated mechanical rudder stoppers, which are located between the rudder blade and (hull) skeg structure rather than on the outside hull due to the latter’s radical design.

For this project DMC pooled its expertise in this field with that of MacGregor Hatlapa (MacGregor), which offered suitable existing products and is headquartered close to DMC's engineering departmet in Hamburg. Working to DMC’s specifications, MacGregor manufactured and supplied the steering gear assemblies and the hydraulic systems that power them based on a customised version of its Poseidon series. DMC delivered the rudder system, neck and carrier bearing systems, steering gear foundations, electrical system, and the primary steering control system.

To ensure the success of the innovative approach, DMC worked closely with Lloyds Register’s polar division to ensure that the required standards were established and achieved. The resulting rudders are the heaviest per square metre that DMC has ever built, with rudder stocks of diameter more than 1000mm. This, together with the materials used, made manufacture and installation very challenging.

The combination of icebreaker classification and high polar class notation creates the need to enhance structural integrity such that, while the maximum design speed of the vessel is actually around 16 knots, most of the components have had to be designed to cope with theoretical speeds in excess of 31 knots. This joint-venture approach was chosen due to DSNS requiring proven technology and a single supplier, yet the specifications were such that no standard products available from DMC and its leading competitors came close to being able to withstand the expected forces. The stresses imposed on the 160m-long hull and the various components are equivalent to those found on a normal vessel of 300m-plus.

The ASRV is being built at Damen Shipyards Galati and is due to be delivered in April 2020.

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