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Traditional Maritime Skills :: Straightening a Steel Plate

Straightening a steel plate

Introduction

After slight damage the hull of a ship has to be returned to shape and dents removed. That is what this skill is about.

First we will look at the equipment the craftsman uses for this and in the second part we will explain the successive operations on the basis of an example.

Tools and equipment that the craftsman uses to remove dents:

Iron
To remove a dent from the hull of a ship a holder is made from a section of iron profile. See Images 1-7.

Nuts & Washers
Threaded rods are inserted through the holder and will be welded to the hull of the ship. The threaded rods are fitted with nuts and washers.

Oxy-Acetylene Burner
Dents can be removed without heating the steel plate, however, the operation will be lighter and more accurate if the dent is heated. An oxy-acetylene burner is used for this.

Other tools
An angle grinder and plate hammer are also used.
A welder is also needed for attaching the holder to the hull.

Procedure

A slightly dented hull plate is used as an example:

  • The dent is first localised and marked

  • The holder is assembled to match the size of the dent and the threaded rods are inserted through the slot

  • The assembly is welded onto the ship’s hull

  • The hull is heated on the inside using the oxy-acetylene burner. This makes the metal "softer" for removing the dent and avoids abrupt reactions once the threaded rods are tightened

  • The nuts on the threaded rods are tightened so that the dent is pulled in the direction of the holder. When tightening the threaded rods the dents can be continuously monitored and tightened more where necessary

  • Once the hull is back into shape the holder and the threaded rods are removed using an angle grinder
 
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Tools Required

  • Nuts and washers
  • Oxy-acetylene burner
  • Plate hammer

Materials Required

  • Iron

Training Instruction

 Click to download training lesson plan:

Straightening Steel Plate

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