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Research & Development

ABS - Setting Standards of Excellence

The core competencies of the worldwide network of ABS professionals lie in the fields of survey, engineering and auditing. Backing these field representatives is an unequivocal commitment to research and development. At any one time more than 100 research and development projects are underway at ABS.

Recognizing the changing role of classification with more emphasis on complex structures and life cycle management, ABS is dedicated to providing leadership in the development of new technologies that will improve the integration of classification into both the design process and life cycle operations.

Joint Study Measures the Impact of Ice on Tankers Trading in the Arctic

ABS, ConocoPhillips, Sovcomflot, and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) are jointly participating in a pioneering study measuring the effect of ice loads on Arctic class shuttle tanker performance. Believed to be the first study of its kind, the project will provide researchers with important data regarding stresses these vessels experience operating in ice-covered waters.

The study will be conducted on the 70,000 DWT Shturman Albanov, the third in a series of Arctic shuttle tankers, during its initial two winter seasons operating in the Barents Sea. A state-of-the-art monitoring system will employ fiber-optic sensors within the ice belt at two locations in the bow and stern quarters to measure and record ice pressures and loads, and compute ice-induced responses of the hull structure at highly loaded locations. A bridge display depicting a color plot of the pressure distribution over each area includes an alarm to alert crews of large impacts.

Commercial Testing Using Acoustic Emissions in a Marine Environment

A joint development project between Alaska Tanker Company (ATC), ABS and MISTRAS has resulted in the first commercial application of the latest acoustic emission technology in the marine industry. Commonly used in the nuclear and pipeline industry as a means of non-destructive testing (NDT) to detect stress, its use in the marine industry has been limited.

Sensors placed on the deck near the midship of the ATC’s 125,000 dwt, double hull tanker, Prince William Sound can electronically detect rapid stress-releasing events, such as the release of elastic energy in materials which then becomes an elastic wave.

Using acoustic emissions would allow for structural conditions to be monitored while the vessel is at sea. It is not intended that acoustic emissions replace current survey practices but, in the long term, this study and its subsequent findings could lead to more efficient and effective survey methods, and also shorten the downtime required of the vessel.

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