Powerful partnerships for clean air

EagleBurgmann provides metal expansion joints for exhaust gas cleaning systems on ships

KeyVisual_CaseStudy_MEJShippings
Situation

The traditional fuel used for ships is heavy fuel oil which is a byproduct from the  distillation of crude oil in refineries. During combustion, Sulphur oxides are formed which have adverse effects on humans and the environment.

Challenge

New exhaust gas limits are supposed to reduce the global Sulphur oxides emissions from ships by 77 %. This is a big step to improve air quality and protect the environment but it creates a challenge for ship owners.

Solution

The integration of a scrubber within the exhaust gas system. EagleBurgmann supports shipbuilders, shipping companies and conversion companies globally with metal expansion joints for the flexible attachment of the systems. Metal expansion joints compensate vibrations and movements which are caused by thermal extension within the pipes or at the connections.

The traditional fuel used for ships is heavy fuel oil which is a byproduct from the  distillation of crude oil in refineries. During combustion, Sulphur oxides (SOx) are formed which have adverse effects on humans and the environment. New exhaust gas limits are supposed to reduce the global SOx emissions from ships by 77 %. This is a big step to improve air quality and protect the environment but it creates a challenge for ship owners. The integration of a scrubber within the exhaust gas system poses a possibility to fulfill the requirements. EagleBurgmann supports shipbuilders, shipping companies and conversion companies globally with metal expansion joints for the flexible attachment of the systems.

Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) or scrubbers are integrated within the funnel area at the outer end of the exhaust gas system.  Metal expansion joints compensate vibrations and movements which are caused by thermal extension within the pipes or at the connections. They protect the scrubber and the equipment to which it is attached.

Sulphur oxides within the ambient air cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as cancer. Furthermore, they are the main reason for the formation of acid rain. Consequently, as of January 1st, 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) permits only 0.5 % instead of the previous  3.5 % Sulphur within marine fuel. Each year the emission of 8.5 million tons of Sulphur oxides shall be prevented by this limit.

“There are different ways to meet the new regulations”, explains Amin Alborzi, expert for expansion joints at EagleBurgmann in Denmark. “One way is the usage of low  Sulphur fuel, but it’s more expensive and leads to permanently high operating costs. The installation of scrubbers on the other hand is an investment which gives great flexibility.”

During longstanding reliable partnerships, EagleBurgmann has developed innovative solutions for numerous companies from the shipping sector. “The best evidence for the quality of our work is when customers decide to address us with new technical challenges like in this case”, Alborzi reports. “The first project was initiated by the request of a manufacturer who wanted to supply the scrubber for a retrofit order directly with the ideal expansion joints.” A rather unusual demand as usually a manufacturer just delivers the ECGS.

The entire surrounding piping and the expansion joints, the hangers, everything is done by a contractor. “The customer had already made positive experiences with EagleBurgmann in the past and thus knew he would be in good hands regarding metal expansion joints”, Alborzi remembers. The collaboration with EagleBurgmann in the early state of the project turned out to be a clear competitive advantage for the customer. He was able to contrast favorably with the market by providing a complete solution package and an even more reliable product.

Meanwhile more than 30 similar projects have been implemented and more are in the pipeline. The multitude of requirements for retrofit projects is extraordinarily challenging. From cruise liners and ferries right up to containerships all kinds of vessels have to be equipped. “Some of  these ships are 20 years old and nobody was planning to install scrubbers when they were built.”, explains Jan Grodzinski, key account manager for engine makers at EagleBurgmann. “There is little installation space and in many cases there is not even the complete design data availabel.”

Existing pipelines have to be cut and modified. The manufacturer customizes the scrubber for each particular ship and engine size. Concerning the attachment to the exhaust gas system he relies on the engineering competence EagleBurgmann has built during more than 50 years in the expansion joint industry. “Specialists travel all over the globe to the shipyards, take a look at the conditions on site and pass the constraints to us”, Grodzinski elucidates. “Our task is then something like ‘We need all room in the funnel to fit the scrubber in and have less than 50 cm for the inlet and outlet connections. Please help us to find a suitable solution.’”

The speed of the business requires a permanently high responsiveness and maximum customer orientation. “The market is dictating that speed”, Grodzinski outlines. “There is for example a free slot in a shipyard for a few weeks and several ship-owners are trying to put their vessel there. Then they need a scrubber manufacturer who can react quickly and finalize his concept within two to three days. EagleBurgmann has adapted to these very agile market requirements and is able to draw up a fitting design and submit a competitive tender within a few hours. In many cases, two to three weeks later the finished products have to be ready on site for assembly.”

A strong competence in choosing and processing a wide range of materials is a key success factor of EagleBurgmann. “We know which kinds of steel ideally meet the customers’ needs. Thus, we are able to keep a stock available and start the production at short notice.”, Grodzinski illustrates. Furthermore, the longstanding experience with different installation places as well as a modular product design contribute to EagleBurgmanns’ high flexibility. As almost all parts hold type approvals and are classified by the most important classification societies for shipping, the documentation effort for the tried and tested components is also minimized.

After more than 150 metal expansion joints have been used for scrubber applications, Alborzi and Grodzinski offer a positive summary: “Despite the challenging requirements the metal expansion joints run very reliable and there haven’t been any failures up to now. We’re proud to contribute our share to more sustainability within the shipping industry with our technology and our products.”

 

Metal Expansion Joints for scrubbers 

• Materials: 254 SMO, AISI321

• Available diameters: DN 40 ... DN 5000

• Temperature spectrum: up to 900 °C

• Movements: axial, lateral, angular

• Classifications: DNV-GL,  Bureau Veritas, American Bureau of Shipping, Lloyds Register of Shipping, Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai
 

EagleBurgmann provides metal expansion joints for exhaust gas cleaning systems on ships

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