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LANXESS Products Contribute To Safety At Sea
LANXESS’s innovative range of polymer and chemical products help the marine shipping industry withstand harsh weather conditions and emergency situations
By: Maggie Tan
Reliability of diesel engines in ships - A serious breakdown at sea can lead to shipwreck in the worst case. For this reason, engine reliability is valued more highly in shipping than in other fields. The oil- and aging-resistant high-performance Therban® hydrated nitrile butadiene rubber (HNBR) rubber from LANXESS’s Technical Rubber Products business unit can help to increase the service life of ships’ engines in a key area – namely in shaft couplings that are subjected to high dynamic stresses.
Ocean liners and smaller yachts are often operated on a heavy diesel grade such as gas oil or fuel oil. However, this fuel does not burn as evenly as in the diesel engines we are used to in cars today. As a result, vibrations affect the drive shaft that transfers the engine torque – from 2.4 kilonewton meter (kNm) in yachts to 800 kNm in container vessels – to the propeller. Uncushioned drive systems can suffer damages. For this reason, rubber coupling fitted between the engine and drive shaft helps dampen vibrations.
Fire protection - Particularly in the depths of the oceans, the navies of the world place great demands on materials that have to be reliable and prepared for emergency situations such as fire.
A new compound material supplied by LANXESS and made from Therban® and Levapren® releases almost no flue gas and hardly any toxic substances if exposed to fire. These properties are extremely important prerequisites for submarine operation. Fire protection is mandatory even on the surface, as all the water in the oceans is useless once a fire is raging in cabins or engine rooms. For this reason, electrical cables on ships are sheathed with a Levapren® variant.
LANXESS’s Functional Chemicals (FCC) business unit also has several fire protection products in its portfolio. The polyurethane system Bayfomox® can be used for molded components such as cable bulkheads that prevent the spread of fire or smoke for at least the obligatory period of 90 minutes (depending on the type of bulkhead).
The fine leather upholstery on luxury yachts is protected in the event of fire by Disflamoll®, which is also used in inflatable life rafts and dinghies, tanks for extinguishing water, and flooring. Bonding agents and plasticizers from FCC are also used for dinghies, with the plasticizer Mesamoll®, for example, increasing the life cycles of inflatable boats.
Protective coatings and plastic covering - The Inorganic Pigments (IPG) and FCC business units provide the color onboard ships. IPG’s Bayferrox® iron oxides are processed by leading varnish manufacturers for the pigmentation of paints for marine and offshore applications such as the coating of yachts, ships and oil rigs. FCC manufactures pigment preparations from organic and inorganic pigments including iron oxides for protective coatings and interior painting. Macrolex®
The Semi-Crystalline Products business unit supplies the high-tech plastics products Durethan® and Pocan® for the covers of ship engines, handles, clamps and electronic components.
Protection from wear and corrosion - The smooth steel floors of ferries are treated with coating materials containing Addolink® additives from LANXESS’s Rhein Chemie (RCH) business unit. The additives work as cross-linking agents and help vehicles to drive onto a ferry. Additives from RCH can also be used for the protection of cargo holds, engine rooms and lower decks against wear and corrosion from other substances.
LANXESS is a leader in specialty chemicals with sales in 2007 of EUR 6.61 billion and currently around 15,000 employees in 21 countries. The company is represented at 44 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacture and sale of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. More information at http://www.lanxessgoesasia.com
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You can find further information concerning LANXESS chemistry in our WebMagazine on http://webmagazine.lanxess.com
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LANXESS is a leader in specialty chemicals with presence in 21 countries and is represented at 44 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacture and sale of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. More information at http://www.lanxessgoesasia.com