The propeller’s surface area might be small compared to the hull of your ship, but a rough or unmaintained propeller can significantly affect the vessel’s fuel consumption. When the propeller spins, it produces thrust, which helps the ship move forward. During this time, it’s constantly exposed to several underwater attacks. Here’s everything you need to know about propeller cleaning and polishing.
What Attacks a Propeller Underwater?
Biofouling (when aquatic organisms attach to the propeller), electrolytic action, and cavitation erosion are common attacks that increase a propeller’s roughness. The Rupert scale is a globally recognized standard for propeller blade roughness. The highest quality is the Rupert ‘A’ grade which is a roughness of .65 microns, which can be achieved by reconditioning and polishing the blades.
Importance of Reconditioning a Propeller:
Boosts Business Profits
If you have a commercial vessel, the cost of fuel can speak volumes in regards to profits. If the propeller is not regularly maintained and has calcareous deposits, it can lead to lost thrust, shaft damage, and diminished fuel efficiency. This will increase fuel costs and affect the annual profits and competitiveness of your business.
Removes Unwanted Biofouling
Fouling materials like bacteria on ship hulls can negatively affect energy efficiency and speed. Did you know that a fouled ship uses about 40% more fuel than a non-fouled ship? This is why polishing is essential, as it helps remove unwanted biofouling from your vessel’s propeller.
Regular maintenance can help avoid the formation of calcium deposits and prevent cavitation. Attending to these problems early can ensure a speedy cleaning process while extending the lifespan of the propeller. Polishing and cleaning done by a professional will ensure that the propellers are always in the best condition.
Minimizes Fuel Consumption
Cleaning your propeller every three months to six months ensures peak performance and minimizes fuel consumption. Polishing and cleaning should be a part of your business fuel efficiency program.
Balances Surface Texture
A polished propeller can help balance the surface texture in terms of roughness. A smooth surface doesn’t allow marine organisms to attach, which means you no longer have to worry about the damage marine life can cause.
Unmaintained propellers can affect the power and speed of your vessel by up to 5 percent! With a clean and smooth propeller, your ship will effortlessly glide with maximum power and speed, ensuring greater efficiency overall.
Are you looking for ship cleaning and repair services? Look no further than Thai Subsea Services! We have been in the industry for over three decades providing top-quality underwater ship services. Our professionals are trained to use a specialized, “multi-layered” propeller polishing procedure. State-of-the-art technology coupled with their expert techniques ensures positive results. Get in touch with us today to reduce the surface roughness of your propellers!