The Marine industry deals with unique environmental conditions, and any system useful for this industry needs to be designed and developed considering these conditions. Because of the harsh conditions and saline water atmosphere, the risk of corrosion and other damages will increase. Hydraulics in the marine industry will make the operations smoother, easier, and secure in every weather conditions, extreme temperatures, and saline atmosphere. Hydraulics have an unavoidable role not only in ships/yachts but also have applications in:
Underwater Drilling: The underwater drilling process involves drilling a wellbore deep under the seabed for oil & gas exploration.
Offshore Pipeline Installation: The transportation of oil and gas can be done through installed offshore pipes.
On-site Fish Processing: Hydraulics is used in the machinery and equipment for fish processing.
Also Read: Hydraulics in Mobile Heavy Equipment
Hydraulic Applications in Ships
A ship is a mobile unit that operates in harsh conditions and requires proper maintenance and repairs. When considering the role of hydraulics in ships, you can find its applications in engine controls and different hydraulic machineries for propulsion, cargo operations, and shipboard safety. The hydraulics can make the operation of your ship more precise, accurate, and safe. You can find hydraulic applications in the following sectors of the ship:
Deck Machinery Hydraulics:
Most of the machinery on the ship deck like the winches, windlasses, steering gear, capstans, etc… uses hydraulics for powering. The deck systems and powered by hydraulic pumps and motors.
Winches: Fishery winches, deep-sea winches, towing winches, anchor & mooring winches, yachts winch system, etc… are different types of winches with hydraulic operation. The winch system can be installed in small spaces and it is load-independent. Flexibility, ease of installation, and low-noise operation are benefits of using hydraulics in winches. Winch control block, hydraulic motors, swashplate pump, remote control devices, and winch valve are the major hydraulic components used.
Steering Gear: The steering gear system is integrated with the rudder system. The rudder system will improve the maneuverability, efficiency, and safety of the complete turning operation of the ship. Axial piston type hydraulic helm pump, hydraulic cylinder, and proportional valves are different hydraulic components used in the rudder system of the steering gear for offering maximum control using minimum effort.
Windlasses: The windlasses in ships are used for shifting the heavy load in a vertical or horizontal direction. Windlasses utilizing hydraulics can be operated at low speed and high torque and one of its application include safely docking the ship at the ports.
Hydraulic Lifting & Handling Systems:
The ships include different types of hydraulic lifting mechanisms suitable for cargo handling, transportation, and theatre stages. Using the power of hydraulics, it is possible to hold & lift large loads effectively. The various categories of hydraulic lifts used are:
Passenger Lifts: Hydraulic lifts used in ships/yachts is an energy-efficient and cost-effective lifting system ideal for the transportation of people and goods. The passenger lifts consist of a cage, counterweight, motor, control panel, winding machine, and more.
Cargo Lifts: Wire ropes, hooks, cranes, and forklifts are used for effective handling of cargo. Using cranes, it is possible to handle heavy loads safely and efficiently. Power units, swivel drives, and high-pressure control blocks are the important hydraulic components behind the powerful and reliable performance of cranes.
Theatre/Restaurant Stage lifts: Hydraulic lifts can be used for raising different sections of theatre and restaurants. Quieter operation, fast movement, high-speed operation, and large load handling are important features of hydraulic stages.
There are many other applications of hydraulics in ships/yachts like the propulsion systems, filtration systems, thruster systems, and more. The propulsion system used in ships consists of hydraulic-powered machinery like diesel engine lubrication system, fuel oil systems, crankcase breathers, and engine control room hydraulics.