Lightweight and durable alternative
STAUFF now offers aluminium mounting hardware for pipe clamps for the ship construction industry
The benefits of using aluminium in machine and plant construction are abundant: although aluminium is considered to be a light metal with a density of 2.6 to 2.8 g per cm3, which offers a potential weight savings of up to 66% compared to steel and stainless steel, it still has exceptional strength considering these properties. However, the design and concept of steel constructions can often not be transferred one-to-one, due to the higher malleability and lower residual stress of aluminium components.
An additional benefit is the aluminium’s inherent resistance to corrosion: When exposed to oxygen, the light metal forms an oxide coating, which is immediately regenerated upon permeation. Standard processing methods, such as MIG, TIG and CMT welding can easily be used on aluminium without hesitation – particularly on substrates that are also made of aluminium. In some instances, they can be carried out more easily, more quickly and using simpler equipment, which results in further financial benefits for the user. The magnetic neutrality is also a beneficial side effect of using aluminium in many instances.
Aluminium in the ship construction industry
There is an increasing trend towards using special seawater-resistant, high-strength aluminium alloys for components and assemblies on sailboats and yachts. The reason: these materials, which contain small portions of magnesium, manganese and silicon in addition to aluminium as the main component, are popular due to their high-quality and attractive appearance. In contrast to wood, they do not require continuous treatment or sealing.
Even on ferries and cruise ships, a significant proportion of the assemblies and floors of the upper decks are made from aluminium profiles and plates. The lighter weight facilitates a higher loading capacity, greater distances and lower energy costs. At the same time, the ship’s centre of gravity can be placed as low as possible. Approximately 750 tons of aluminium plates and profiles were used in this way to construct the “Voyager of the Seas” – with a gross tonnage of more than 137,000 still one of the largest passenger ships even 15 years after its construction at Aker Yards in Finland (Aker Kvaerner at that time).
Aluminium mounting hardware for Stauff pipe clamps
For pipe clamps in the Standard Series as per DIN 3015 (Part 1), which are designed for easy and secure fixing of metric or inch pipelines with outer diameters from 6 mm to 102 mm, STAUFF is offering an aluminium alternative for all dimensions of mounting hardware such as cover plates and weld plates. Even in the Heavy Series as per DIN 3015 (Part 2), certain components and sizes are available in aluminium.
The dimensions and material thicknesses of the aluminium components correspond to the standard surface-treated designs generally made of steel or stainless steel, and therefore facilitate the use of bolts of conventional types and lengths, using the usual recommended tightening torques. Due to the low tendency to corrosion when in contact with aluminium, the use of bolts with the standard STAUFF zinc/nickel coating (material code W3) is no problem.
The retention forces of the tested pipe clamps in direction of the cover plates, which were tested and documented under controlled conditions at the STAUFF in-house laboratories, clearly met the requirements.