C+W Specialist Equipment Ltd has introduced a Ballast Tank Simulation Test Rig for the testing of ballast tank coatings. The equipment meets the requirements of the IMO MSC 81-WP 13 Test Method, the manufacturer says.
The rig simulates a vessel at sea with a three-second rise and fall rocking motion to replicate a ship’s pitching and rolling.
The laboratory test rigs are available in either a 10-cell unit or a five-cell unit. Each cell will hold four test panels, 200mm x 400mm x 3mm. The panels are subjected to different conditions within each cell, according to the position in the cell.
Performance and Features
A test panel is placed in the flat roof of each cell, with the test coating facing inward, exposed to humidity and splashing. This panel is heated from the outside to 50°C for 12 hours, then allowed to cool to 20°C or ambient for 12 hours. This condition is produced to simulate upper-deck conditions.
One side of the Ballast Tank Test Rig incorporates a “cool side” that is chilled to 20°C; this gives a temperature gradient on the panel to simulate a cooled bulkhead in a ballast wing tank.
Panels are also positioned on the opposite side of the cell to the cool side. This panel is cyclically splashed with artificial sea water that is heated to 35°C. The fourth panel is placed in the base of each cell and submerged in the natural or artificial sea water, which is maintained at 35°C. This panel is immersed for two-thirds of the test period and subjected to cathodic protection; the remaining time, it is subjected to constant condensation as the sea-water level is reduced to expose the base panel.
C+W Specialist Equipment Ltd. says it is supplying the test rigs to major marine coating manufacturers and research establishments throughout the world.
“As far as we are aware, we are the first company to develop and produce this cabinet so that it is commercially available,” a company spokesman said.
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