With focus and innovation, the maritime industry is systematically addressing its impact on long-term environmental concerns, with much change taking place in the next decade. Regulations are expanding out into the open sea amid lower sulphur emissions and tighter controls on wastewater management. With this in mind, can operators with older vessels continue to be compliant, and enjoy the benefits of new technologies that reduce the pollutants associated with shipping?

One such technology is water lubricated-sterntube systems, these are becoming more popular with operators and meet the VGP 2013 and Polar Code requirements. Simplex-Turbulo is proud to be the authorised distributor for the Simplex BlueRun product range, which guarantees a long service life on its water-lubricated systems and includes water-lubricated polymer bushes, TWP, the portfolio includes:

Simplex BlueRun sterntube bush

  • Suitable for all types of water-lubricated sterntube Systems: for fresh and sea water, also for open and closed systems
  • By using the split version, the shaft can remain intact during the exchange of bearings
  • Suitable for shaft diameters up to 500 mm

Simplex carrier bush

Simplex carrier bushes are suitable for the Simplex BlueRun bushes and are fixed to the sterntube.

 

Simplex BlueRun water quality system

The Simplex BlueRun water quality system cleans the seawater by filtration, it is then pumped through the sterntube bushes where it lubricates, cools and flushes.

Advantages:

  • No overheating
  • Any solids are reliably removed
  • Designed to operate on a standalone basis or can be fully integrated into the ship’s control and monitoring systems. The system can be operated in an unmanned engine room
  • The water quality system consists of two pumps (one standby). A single filter is connected to them
  • Constant measurement of temperature, pressure and flow rate of the water. All measurement results will be shown on the system’s display

 

Tail shaft monitoring

The tail shaft monitoring system provides reliable information about wear to the bushes and is a critical tool for early replacement planning.

Features:

  • Two sensors are installed in the upper side of the bearing bush and are connected to an evaluation unit
  • Contactless measurement of bush wear

It appears that the industry is starting to turn full circle in readopting water-lubricated sterntube systems, the very first lubricant used for the earliest propeller shafts being seawater. Oil became the preferred alternative from the 1960’s as bearings were originally made from wood and perished quickly. Today, over 90% of vessels continue to use oil-lubricated sterntube systems. Although oil lubrication is a tried and tested solution, water-lubricated sterntube systems offer various advantages and are catching up fast, with an improved life expectancy to match the best oil systems on the market. Simplex BlueRun requires less maintenance than an oil system and eliminates the potential of a costly environmental accident from seal failure.