Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Star Wars Arrives In Port for Container Shipping Industry

Laser Technology to Scrub the Decks of the Future
Shipping News Feature
JAPAN – Nippon Yusen Kaisha, best known as container shipping line NYK, has signed a memorandum of understanding with technology company Toyokoh to examine a joint business development to use laser technology to remove rust from vessels. Steel used on a ship's deck is always susceptible to rust due to the harsh outdoor ocean environment that can lead to corrosion arising from severe salinity, temperatures, humidity, and ultraviolet rays, all exacerbated by scratches resulting from wear from cargo loading, amongst other things.

During voyages, crew members usually remove rust using power tools and then repaint, but a tremendous amount of repetitive work is required, and the repair does not remain in good condition for long. In addition, rust on the shell plates of the ship is usually removed in dry dock through sandblasting, a procedure that discharges much dust and waste when an abrasive material such as sand is shot at a high speed onto the shell plates to remove surface contaminants.

NYK aims to reduce the maintenance workload of crew on deck, in addition to dry-dock costs for repairs, and will discuss development of a business to provide a more efficient and environment-friendly maintenance method using Toyokoh’s epoch-making laser technology.

Since 2008, Toyokoh has been making use of its expertise in paint on structures to develop a laser that would remove rust. Toyokoh’s CoolLaser uses laser technology to remove rust from steel structures. The company claims that the technology can remove rust quickly even in narrow spaces, eliminate any salinity, and reduce dust and waste. This technology has the potential to be used in a wide range of steel-maintenance situations. CoolLaser could also reduce costs during dry-dock repairs and lessen burdens placed on the environment.

For the use of CoolLaser technology in the maritime field, the two companies will develop a device, system and measures that suit the shipping industry by studying the impact of lasers on steel material and coating adhesion, in addition to safety measures and improvements. A trial is scheduled to be done on an actual ship while the vessel is in dry dock.