Bespoke systems keep it all quiet on the Polar front

Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce.

Seawork exhibitor MIT has successfully delivered a bespoke exhaust suspension system to Cammell-Laird Shipbuilders in Liverpool which has the official contract to build the 128m, 5,000t Sir David Attenborough world-class polar research vessel.

Designed by Rolls-Royce, the vessel has the ability to carry a scientific cargo of approximately 900 cu meters and will have an icebreaking capability of up to 1m thick at 3 knots, she will be able to withstand up to 60 days at sea within the Polar Regions. Travelling up to 19,000nm at 13 knots of transit the vessel will house up to 29 crew and officers and up to 60 scientific and support staff, along with boasting a heli-deck and hangar, a science hangar, a moon pool and on-board submersible which will be deployed for underwater research.

Due to the nature of the Sir David Attenborough’s work in natural environments, the critical challenge with her diesel engine exhaust system is the ability to run at full power while emitting the least noise and vibration possible. Limiting the levels of noise and vibration pollution, both within the vessel and to the exterior marine environment, provides minimal disruption to marine life and to the scientific measuring equipment on board; imperative for the operations that will be carried out during her deployment.

MIT worked with Rubber Design, a leading international specialist in solutions for noise, vibration, and shock related problems. Working from plans supplied by Rolls-Royce, Rubber Design’s expertise meant it was able to provide a bespoke system built precisely to design specifications. The suspension system will comprise 148 fixed-point mounts, 142 stabilisers, and 30 stainless steel bellows, forming the complete section that will hold in place the chosen exhaust system. The vessel is fitted with 2 × Bergen B33:45L6A (2 × 3,600 kW) and 2 × Bergen B33:45L9A (2 × 5,400 kW) diesel/electric engines to improve fuel consumption and reduce environmental impact.

MIT provided local technical and logistics support while also ensuring that each of the 320 individual components was delivered on time to each exact job location, ensuring that the build plans were on schedule.

Both MIT and Rubber Design stated their pride in being involved with both the delivery of the project and the opportunity to play a part in the increased UK scientific presence within the Polar Region.

The Sir David Attenborough research vessel will be operated by the British Antarctic Survey and is due to enter service in 2019.

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