Supreme results with retrofit seals

The unpredictable water depths around the West Frisian Islands resulted in a stern tube rethink for the Kennemer. The unpredictable water depths around the West Frisian Islands resulted in a stern tube rethink for the Kennemer.
Industry Database

The Netherland’s Rijkswaterstaat, part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment responsible for execution of the public works and water management, recently decided to retrofit its multifunctional ship Kennemer.

The Kennemer used to sail in relatively deep waters, until the Rijkswaterstat (RWS) decided to deploy the ship in the West Frisian Islands area. Even though the previous system functioned quite well in deep waters, it failed in the new, unpredictable area so the plan was to change from an open water lubricated to a closed oil lubricated stern tube system.

Henk Bos of the RWS explained “The sea around the West Frisian Islands tends to turn into tideland quite unpredictably. If possible, we try to sail through, even in very shallow waters. In this situation a lot of sand and debris enters the stern tube. This is disastrous for an open water lubricated system.”

While sailing in shallow waters, the filters, membranes and retaining ring got heavily polluted or even clogged. As a result, the ship had to dock more than once a year to replace the bearings, resulting in high maintenance cost. At that point RWS decided to retrofit to the alternative durable Supreme closed oil-lubricated system.

RWS chose IHC Lagersmit to deliver fully compatible Supreme lip seals and bearings. Diametrically opposed to the water lubricated system, the oil-lubricated system is closed to ensure oil stays inside and water keeps out of the stern tube. To protect the system against sand and debris the aft seal is equipped with multiple lip seals and an extra dirt barrier.

“We find that problems with sand and debris are the number one reason to switch from open water to closed oil lubricated systems”, said Jan Boomsma, application engineer for IHC Lagersmit.

The multi-functional, flat bottom vessel received a new IHC Lagersmit sealSupreme LDA seal aft, and an LDF forward with seal diameter of 110mm as well as an aft and forward bearing bush. The Supreme LDA features three (NBR) lip seals and one dirt barrier. The lip seals run on chrome steel liners.

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