Ultrasonic Tightness Tests for Hatch Covers and Watertight Doors

Ultrasonic Testing is widely used to test and prove the water-tightness and weather-tightness of bulk carriers and general cargo ships’ hatch covers, watertight doors, roro and car carrier ramp doors, etc.

Ultrasonic Test for Hatch Covers tightness

Loss of weather-tight integrity continues to be a constant factor leading to cargo damage which could result on a threat to the safety of the crew, the ship and its cargoes. Weather-tight means that in any sea conditions water will not penetrate into the ship.

Ultrasounds are sounds with a frequency above 20 kHz and can be precisely measured. The basic equipment consists of and ultrasound generator, which is placed in the hold, and a receiver unit fitted with a microphone to receive the emitted ultrasound signals.  It is a non-destructive method, non -invasive, can be used in all weather conditions, non-polluting, and can also be used in empty holds and holds containing cargo.

Ultrasonic Test for Watertight doors

The use of ultrasonic testing is also a sure way of detecting any damage to watertight doors seal. It can also identify the loss of any watertight integrity that may have occurred during the installation phase of the watertight door, as a deformation to the frame or other misalignment. This test can be done during comissioning, after replacement of rubber sealing or on request from customers, flag state or class society.

Feldspar cargo affected by sea water. During dispute, ultrasonic testing was required to asses hatch covers tightness (Castellon port).
Ultrasonic testing watertight doors during comissioning of a new-builduing support tug project in Spain.

Complementary Services

Ultrasonic Hatch Cover Tests are usually included in Ship Condition Surveys carried out on behalf of P&I Clubs. It also can be used when H&M surveys and as  a part of some particular vetting inspections required by charterers. Also can be used when there is a dispute between different parties, in case of cargo wetting damage.