In what ways can this new PEC Deck & NDT technology benefit the superyacht Industry?

Imagine a future where a Superyacht Shipyard, Skipper, Owner and Management Company could clearly state the condition of the plate below the teak deck, through the finished coatings, insulation or antifouling.

PEC Deck Teak Scanner

We are all used to scans in our everyday life. From barcode scanners to ultrasounds and MRI scanners. Ultimately the definition of the purpose of a scan is “to look at all parts of (something) carefully in order to detect some feature”. 

It goes without saying, that scanning something to see if there are any anomalies present that can’t be seen in any other way, makes perfect sense in terms of spotting latent defects or insidious corrosion early and planning solutions. This process of course bears similarities with our modern day medical practices. The natural progression is that technology developed in one area of science or industry should be useful in another, this is predominantly the case with a variety of applications we use.

This is why Brookes Bell now has a suite of the most advanced NDT (Non Destructive Testing) scanning technologies in the world and the Brookes Bell team will host NDT PEC and Pulsed Eddy Current demonstrations at the forthcoming Superyacht forum. This will be particularly exciting for those interested in the future of investigation, analysis, diagnostics and early and resolution of issues and corrosion on Superyachts. 

Brookes Bell’s technology is developed in the advanced engineering hubs of the innovative fields of oil and gas exploration and production, nuclear and aerospace. It is then adapted and tailor made for the maritime and marine sectors and this particular bit of kit is about to be a game-changer for the Superyacht industry. 

“From the conception of the technology to the discussions that have followed with key players in the industry at recent events such as the Monaco Yacht Show, it has become apparent just how many people are excited about it. Not only shipyards, owners/skippers and management companies but also surveyors, insurance companies and even brokers too.” Says Patrick Yeoward of Brookes Bell

Teak Deck Problems

Thanks to this new technology, when a Superyacht goes into refit it is now possible to know the exact extent of teak deck problems. The exact amount of teak decking that needs to be taken up to address corrosion underneath, instead of ripping the entire deck up to see what lies beneath. 

The new PEC Deck probes can scan large areas and/or small areas and tell you the amount of material affected by corrosion. The corrosion detection probes can scan through any non-conductive material to allow for a full assessment. This advancement dramatically reduces the amount of time, money and materials wasted during the refit process. 

“Brokers could see the benefit for a potential purchaser in knowing the condition of the materials that can’t normally be seen, Managers could see the benefit in having the data available when negotiating a refit on behalf of a client. The possibility of a ‘medical’ was discussed to create a condition base line in order to monitor exactly what changes over a time frame. 5 years after this – no change – no problem” states Patrick

Whilst the technology is sophisticated the process and reporting are efficient and simple to understand (exactly the way it should be when it comes to humans working with technology). The variety of probes available make it possible to inspect a range of issues such as blistering of the fairing material on the hull to the severe pitting and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) of fuel and ballast tanks. This enables the team to produce a detailed report of the problem that allows for accurate cost planning and enhanced capabilities in manpower distribution, yard space, subcontractors, hot works, interior joinery and systems technicians.

Eddy Current Array

“The Ectane system relies on eddy current array technology and is perfectly suited to analyse aluminums and stainless steel components, with or without coatings.  The system can detect and accurately size pitting, SCC cracks and hot tears amongst other anomalies.  The resolution is of a high enough magnification to generate an intricate map of a component’s geometry to help clearly visualize any failures, thus allowing for an accurate assessment and swift remediation as well as trend analysis if required.” says Arron Jackaman

The potential is huge, and although they are refit and repair tools at present, the future as a Class tool is evident, particularly as it doesn’t always necessitate a haul-out or even for the Yacht to move.

Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy

“The LIBS can quickly analyse metal alloy characteristics such as chemical composition in situations where laboratory analysis is not practical.  The information obtained through in situ analysis can be reviewed by metallurgists to assist with a number of useful inspections, such as identifying dissimilar materials and unsuitable alloys which have the propensity to promote incipient harmful corrosion or material failure.” – Arron Jackaman continues

at mets this month? Take it for a test drive!

Owing to growing demands from the industry sector Brookes Bell have the PEC-deck test system along with Ectane (Eddy Current Array) acquisition units and LIBS analyser (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) which they will also be showcasing and explaining at The Superyacht Forum 18th - 20th November in Amsterdam.