Boskalis Plastic Bomb Grid has been nominated for the IADC – International Association of Dredging Companies – Safety Award 2017.
The presence of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and the high risk of explosions is a pervasive hazard to dredging activities. To minimize damage which can be caused to a hopper dredger’s drag head, a steel bomb grid is mounted to prevent UXOs from entering the suction pipe during operation.
Weighing in at a whopping 80 kilos, the attachment is cumbersome to install, taking between three and four hours to secure which is especially problematic since frequent cleaning is necessary throughout operation.
Searching for a better solution, a works manager from Boskalis consulted knowledgeable captains and crew. By swapping out steel for plastic, the grid’s weight was trimmed down to 15 kilos.
The lightweight substitute offers a hassle-free installation, and takes a mere 30 minutes. Although three times more expensive to manufacture, the plastic alternative reduces the amount of time and injuries associated with the installation process.
Additionally, cutting down a vessel’s weight equates to more sand in its hopper, making plastic bomb grids a much more favorable choice both in terms of bottom line and performance.