Marine air bags ? A most unusual way to launch a ship

Posted: 08/04/2011 in all marine news

gCaptain – 

To learn more about marine airbags and their use for moving and launching large ships, we reached out to Song Tao of Qingdao Evergreen Shipping Supplies Co.,Ltd. Let’s here what he has to say…

What were the first uses of air bags in the launching of ships ?

The history of marine air bag ship launching dates back to 1981. Xiao Qinghe ship repair and building shipyard, located in Jinan city of Shangdong Province, launched a 60 DWT tank barge with air bag suspension on January 20, 1981. Seven air bags were deployed in that project.

One was 2 meters in diameter and 6 meters long and used for elevating. The remaining six air bags were 0.8 meters x 6 meters long and acted as the rollers. The first intention of that trial launch was to develop a prompt, less landform limited ship launching method for warfare purposes.

How has the technology advanced since then ?

Over the past twenty years, the airbag ship launching system has made advancements in not only the air bag, but also the ship launching/landing technology. The first generation air bags used a rubber dipped canvas as a reinforcement layer to form the air chamber trunk. Two cone-shaped molds were then used to make the ends and everything was stuck together.

With today’s air bags, the whole-enlacing-technology used for manufacturing is done together. Rubber dipped synthetic-tyre-cords are used as the reinforcement layers with the trunk and two cone-shaped ends made at the same time. Everything is then-laced together, so the air bag doesn’t have any joints.

Due to the development of rubber chemistry, the performance of the rubber employed in the latest air bags is highly enhanced and about 15 times that of the first generation bag with the same specifications.

The launching and landing technology has also developed. In the beginning, only small and flat bottom ships located on a fabricated slope could be launched with air bags. Now this technology is more flexible and less limited by the ship and landform. Now any type of ship with a DWT below 55,000 and in a place with enough launching space can be launched using air bags.

The launching slope even can be sloped upward. It has really developed into a cutting edge technology for launching ships, and especially useful for some marine emergencies.

Full story… 

Advertisements

Comments are closed.