Why is Underwater Propeller Polishing & Cleaning Important?

Underwater maintenance of ships is a field that is, usually not given much importance, unless you own a ship or really understand the various facets of the segment. People only see the above water parts and beauty of a ship; they do not think of the various ways in which underwater cleaning and underwater maintenance ensure that the ship remains optimal in health and sanctity. One of the major aspects of underwater cleaning is propeller polishing as it ensures that the underwater ship propeller, one of the most important parts of the ship’s mechanism, is maintained in the best possible condition and shape. What are the things you should know about when it comes to propeller polishing and why is it important?

What is Propeller Polishing?
The propeller is a mechanical device attached to the lower part of a ship and this device consists of a revolving shaft with two or more broad, angled blades attached to it. It is imperative that the ship’s propeller be in good shape as, otherwise, it can lose out of propulsion speed and the capability to remain secure against the impact of the sea. Propeller polishing is important as it removes all the calcium deposits, immature barnacles and tubeworms or other biofouling material stuck to the propellers, thus enhancing propulsion efficiency significantly and making the vessel sea ready. Underwater ship propellers can be cleaned and reconditioned using a small rotating disk which conforms to the complex shapes of the blades without causing any damage to the surface. Further, propeller polishing could also involve smoothening or repair of all surface damages.   

What is Propeller Super polishing?

Underwater ship propellers require consistent and regular care to ensure the best possible results for the vessel. Since the propeller is usually an unpainted part located at the stern of the ship, underwater ship propellers accumulate marine biofouling elements quicker than the hull. With the months spent at sea, the propeller becomes extremely grimy and might require propeller super polishing to return it to optimal efficiency and health. If the issue is not handled in time, it might even lead to excessive engine slip. More complex and effective than simple propeller polishing, propeller super polishing enhances the quality and health of propellers significantly and it should be undertaken once every six months to ensure that your vessel is in the most optimal condition possible. Hydraulic hand motors fitted with various coarse ‘’3M’’ polishing pads are used for propeller super polishing.

When is the best time to polish your propeller and why?

Many vessels have a standard maintenance programme to ensure that the health of the ship is maintained at all costs. Underwater cleaning and underwater maintenance should, ideally, be conducted every six to twelve months, depending on the usage and age of the ship. It is easier to polish the propeller when the ship is docked but if that is not possible, underwater ship propeller maintenance is something you should consider. However, while on-deck polishing is easier for the experts, there is one fine detail which you should consider – a propeller which is maintained and polished in-water will feature an average surface finish of 1 micron or better, due to the rotation of the polishing pad and the resulting centrifugal suction. This means that the sea water creates the necessary cooling to achieve an optimal surface finish which is much better than what can be done in dry situations or above dock. Therefore, it is best to polish your propeller underwater, at regular intervals.

Ship Propeller Maintenance Optimal Solutions

There is no doubting the fact that the ship’s propeller is one of the most important elements of the entire vessel. If you do not maintain its health and security, your vessel could lose energy and power, thus lowering engine health and costing you more in repairs, down the line. Therefore, it is important that you undertake regular underwater cleaning and maintenance of your ship propellers. Optimal solutions include working out a routine which enables rapid, easy, and economical propeller cleaning. Further, having a set routine will allow you to minimize fuel wastage on account of propeller roughness and fouling. If you undertake regular underwater cleaning and maintenance, your ship’s propellers won’t require extreme polishing, meaning that it will always boast a smooth, fuel-efficient surface. If you wait too long between propeller polishing sessions, your propeller will get damaged, and the hard-core polishing required will also lead to some loss of health. So, choose a good underwater maintenance service like Nereus Subsea and ensure optimal health for your underwater ship propeller.

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