Testing & Maintenance of Hatch Covers & Doors: Best Practice Guidance

Failure of the hatch-covers can cause damage to the cargo, loss of vessel stability and ultimately, loss of the vessel. Hatches must meet the SOLAS Convention, the Load Line Convention, classification society rules and IMO and ILO Guidelines. Watertight (WT) hatch covers prevent water ingress and cargo damage, preventing the possible loss of stability. Watertight integrity can also prevent seawater spray, which combined with air, may cause significant corrosion of the vessel structure and consequentially a reduction in strength. Therefore, hatches are fitted to ships to maintain watertight integrity and protect the crew, ship and cargo. In the forward 25% of the vessel, watertight integrity is particularly important as this is where sea loads are at their highest.

Most classification societies and P&I Clubs now recommend ultrasound which can be done in any weather states and when the ship is loaded. For example, UK P&I Club, Loss Prevention Department published updated information from the Carefully to Carry Commitment in 2002 about “testing weather-tight integrity of dry cargo vessels’ hatchcovers” identifying the ultrasonic test as best practice. IACS requires anyone carrying out a survey to be qualified but unlike most manufacturers, Coltraco manufactures Portascanner® WATERTIGHT, whose readings cannot include ambient noise. It is always recommended to conduct one test when the hold is empty and another when loading is completed, as this can reveal leaks caused by hogging or sagging. Ultrasonic leak detectors must be class type approved

Receiver of PortascannerÒ WATERTIGHT

It consists of extension rod connector, Gain 1,2,3, Volume Up and Down Buttons, LCD Visual Display, Mode, On and Off Buttons and Headphone Connection. Following is the way of operation of receiver:

  • It possesses audio and visual outputs.
  • As sensor rod is attached to it, a user can scan the seal at close range entirely.
  • LCD screen shows the visual output of detected ultrasounds.
  • The visual data received can be converted to decibels (dB) reading which is perfect to be tested to certification society standards.
  • Bar graph representation is also available.
  • With standard jack of 3.5 mm, a headphone is attached to the receiver to receive audio signals.
  • Heterodyning is the process through which receiver converts the ultrasound waves into audio signals so that user can easily hear.

Generator of Portascanner Watertight

It consists of Power On and Off Buttons, Transducers, Low Battery Indication and Battery Compartment. The operation of generator of this cable transit watertight areas testing are mentioned below:

  • It is placed on one side of the sealed compartment and turned on.
  • Sensor rod is utilized to scan the seal by user standing on the other side of the compartment
  • Increased signal strength will be shown apparently for leak sites.
  • The numerical display and volume of audible signals can easily show the strength of the signals received by the receiver.

For further information, download PDF File

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