Norwegian shipbuilder Vard has been installing Pipeotech’s DeltaV-Seal in its newbuildings since 2016.
The company uses the DeltaV-Seal in the large steam systems fitted in the expedition cruise ships, of which the company has built 10 to date.
“Before we started to use the DeltaV-Seal, we did not have so many projects requiring such big steam systems as we have now on these kinds of vessels,” explained Johny Morland, Principal Engineer, QA and Standardisation at the Fincantieri-owned company. “We saw that as a challenge with this kind of system, as we know about the problem of leakage in steam systems.
“The steam system is a very difficult system to manage without leakage. During commissioning we start and shut down this system repeatedly, so it will be heated up and cooled down over and over again and the material will expand and contract many times… it’s a very big challenge for the material.
“Typically, in the past during these types of commissioning periods, we experienced difficulties with leakage, so by selecting the DeltaV-Seal we believe this can be sorted,” he added.
Any leakage at the commissioning stage can become a very expensive problem to troubleshoot and resolve for Vard, involving many lost man hours and costing many thousands of dollars. “It’s very time consuming to repair any leakage from a gasket, as you have many hundreds of connections to check,” Morland stressed.
Procurement offices used to view gaskets as a low priority item in the overall system and would shave a hundred dollars off prices, but later costs could run into many thousands of dollars in lost man hours at the commissioning stage when chasing leakages.
“It is a mistake to only look into a price list. In the end, maybe the cheapest is the most expensive, and we have learned this lesson many times now,” Morland said. “There are many more parameters than just the buying price.”
Pipeotech’s DeltaV-Seal is designed to not leak, or to deteriorate. The unit is a one-piece gasket made from the same metal as the flanges it is joined to.
The steam systems Vard builds for its expedition cruise vessels create fluctuating temperatures that directly affect key components, such as gaskets.