March 2016 - Kemplon Engineering

The Many Merits of Composite Propellers

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^ Large Ship Propeller (Note the Geometry) Image Courtesy of Eastimages at

Why are Propellers so Important?  

Propellers are the devices that power the global economy. This may sound gross exaggeration, but is, in fact, the truth. Why? Because, they drive most ships. And ships transport over 90% of the globally traded merchandise.

Not for nothing is the health of shipping a potent indicator of the state of the global economy. Anything and everything that affects the efficiency of the humble looking propeller therefore holds vast potential far beyond what many can possibly fathom. Read More

The Phoenix Like Revival of the Flettner Rotor Technology

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^ Flettner Rotors @ the Buckau in 1925 – Image Courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress at  

Back from the Dead

Perhaps the one thing that separates the common from the extraordinary is the undying relevance of the work of the latter. German aviation engineer and inventor Anton Flettner is one such outstanding individual.

Way back in the 1920s, he devised the rotor sail and built two fullscale rotor scales – the Buckau and the Barbara. These were perhaps the earliest applications of wind assisted ship propulsion i.e. ships wherein wind propulsion usually plays a largely subordinate role. Read More

Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion: Back to the Future

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 ^ USS Constitution: A Sailing Frigate & the Legend of the War of 1812 is Still Afloat
   Image Courtesy of Todd Stevens at
   Retrieved From

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change. (wrongfully attributed to) Charles Darwin

Winds of Change in the Traditionalist Shipping World

May you live in interesting times. So goes an ancient, apparently Chinese, curse. The implication is clear. You are more likely to find peace and tranquility during stable, uninteresting times. Upheavals, though interesting, create precarious times.

Presently, we are living in interesting times. The global economy is yet to shrug off the lethargy injected by the global economic slump of 2008. Add to that the harrowing prospect of another slowdown – over the past fifty years, the global economy has slipped into a recession every eight years. Read More

In the Interest of Plastic-Free, Healthy Oceans

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^ SeaVax: Proof of Concept Model Without Turbines – Image Courtesy of Bluebird Marine Systems at

Innovation Unlimited

At Innovate U.K., a government sponsored show held in November 2015 in London, Bluebird Marine Systems showcased a 1:20 prototype as a proof of concept of the SeaVax, a solar and wind powered vessel that can suck plastic waste from oceans.

Now, the team from Sussex, England is eyeing to raise $0.9 billion via crowdfunding to build 300 full scale SeaVax boats. The team believes it will need 300 such boats to clean our oceans. And, they will need $0.9 billion when operating on a not-for-profit basis.

Read More

laser machine

How Laser Cutting Technology Changed the Shipbuilding Industry

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^ By Steve Brown Photography (Retro Systems LLC ( [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 In the 1990’s, the bridge building industry began using a 3kW gantry style CO2 laser cutting machine. By 1995, laser cutting machines were used in shipyards. Eventually, 6kW CO2 laser systems were used in various shipyards across the world. Laser cutting in shipyards has a typical process flow when it comes to marking the plate, followed by cutting the hull and internal structure, and lastly the ship-block construction.

Due to the popularity of laser cutting machines, the shipbuilding industry has reduced labor costs, and most especially the time it took on both small and large projects. Of all the equipment used in shipbuilding, CO2 laser cutting machines such as laser bevel cutting machine were proven to provide higher accuracies and more reduced time and costs in post-cutting processes. Read More

Of Friction Stir Welding (FSW) & its Affinity for Aluminum

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^ Super Liner Ogasawara: Technicians employed FSW to Weld its Aluminum Panels – Image Courtesy of Haruno Akiha (talk) at

A Star on the Rise

When devised in December 1991 at The Welding Institute (TWI) in UK, many looked at Friction Stir Welding (FSW) as more of an experimental exploit confined to the bounds of laboratories. That was then.

Today, the process is spreading the tentacles of its application far and across the manufacturing world – shipbuilding, aerospace, automotive, railways, fabrication, defense, medical, electronics – you name it. After all, twenty five years is a lifetime in technological progress. Read More


Why Metalworking is a Noble Profession

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As soon as the industrialization age shaped the course of our history, the ability of mankind has been put to the test and we saw how men can actually rise to the demands of manufacturing and construction. Who, in this country’s early years before massive skyscraper projects, would have thought that men can actually construct buildings that stand hundreds of feet tall; boats that can accommodate by the thousands; or yachts with Jacuzzis or swimming pools? Needless to say, metalworking has contributed a big role into the society. Indeed, metalworking is a noble profession.

Some of the duties of metalworkers include selecting the types of sheet metal or nonmetallic material to use, installing the metal sheets with supportive frameworks, maneuvering large parts of metals to be installed, drilling holes in metals, and many more. Read More

For a Marvelous, Ten Year Drydocking Interval

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^ Applying Surface Treated Composite (STC) Coatings – Image Courtesy of Hydex Solutions at

This is the second in a series of two articles and is largely based on the whitepaper Extending the Interval Between Drydocking to Ten Years by Hydex Solutions. The first article viz. Is Dry Docking a Necessary Evil? deals with the numerous aspects of drydocking.

The Path Between Two Extremes

Drydocking ships is necessary to counter fouling and corrosion, the two most potent destroyers of ship hulls. And because painting hulls after cleaning and shot blasting them deals with both these insidious raiders, it is the most important operation in drydocking. Read More