Through-bulkhead seal safety enhanced by non-welding advancement


A new solution for sealing metal pipes without welding is speeding up installation time and cutting costs in shipyards, while also enhancing the safety of the through-bulkhead seal.

Roxtec’s SPM seal holds pipes in place by use of a metal and rubber sandwich. No welding is required. A gasket of EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) rubber is held between two flanges of marine grade 316 stainless steel. The seal is slid over the end of the pipe, then the pipe is pushed into an oversized aperture on the bulkhead.

The SPM seal slides forward to fill the aperture, and then a series of bolts are tightened to distort the gasket to form an interference fit. Full tightness is indicated when the blue-coloured rubber is squeezed through a set of inspection holes.

John Kayes, Roxtec UK’s marine and offshore director, said: “A key innovation of the SPM seal is how it removes the need for welding.

“All you need to do is cut a circular hole in the bulkhead to a prescribed diameter, clean it up, remove and sharp edges and you are good to go. The opening can even be slightly irregular as there is sufficient flex in the gasket.”

Mr Kayes said the new seal slashes costly man-hours, especially during scheduled maintenance stops where time is money.

A recent notable order was for the GB£200m polar research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough, where specialist safety seals were installed in key areas including the engine room, power generators and external lighting. Here they will provide protection from multiple hazards.


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