Most commonly used hatch covers depend upon a watertight seal between sections of rubber packing and steel compression bars to prevent water getting into the hold. Poor maintenance of hatch covers and coamings, or the failure to secure hatch covers effectively can lead to water leaking into the hold. Other entrances to holds, such as hatch entrances where personnel enter the holds, also need to be water tight.
Damage to cargo caused by water leaking in can lead to large claims being made and is therefore of considerable concern to ship owners, managers and insurers.
Armada Maritime Services can conduct ultrasonic testing of hatch covers and other hold entry points to assess their watertight integrity using class approved hatch cover testing equipment.
Ultrasonic testing is a quick and simple method of establishing watertight integrity with no negative side effects on the port or harbour environment and can also be performed in sub-zero temperatures. It can be carried out with the cargo in place with no damage to the cargo, and does interfere with crew activities .
Armada Maritime Services surveyors are also experienced in the application of hose tests to determine cargo hold watertight integrity to a reliable degree, if this method is preferred.