Maritime applications

Copper and some copper alloys in particular have a wide range of applications in the construction of seawater pipe systems in the maritime and offshore industry. Here, the proportion of copper and copper alloys compared to other materials varies depending on the area of application and industry.

While the share of copper and copper alloys has declined in recent years in passenger and commercial shipbuilding, for example, they are still the dominant material group for use in seawater pipe systems in naval shipbuilding. The reason for this is the wide range of technical advantages especially for naval shipbuilding that this family of materials combines. This means that copper alloys can be found for a wide range of applications on board, which are very well suited to the individual application due to their unique properties.

Brochure: Materials for seawater pipelines

Due to their excellent corrosion resistance, numerous copper alloys are ideally suited for maritime applications.

In shipbuilding, copper-nickel alloys are also the preferred tube materials for seawater, brackish water and deck steam lines. Furthermore, they are used for intake manifolds and ship shafts. Valves, pumps, fittings, flanges, fittings and mountings made of copper-nickel alloys have proven their worth in the entire shipbuilding industry due to their seawater resistance, as they are characterised by high corrosion and erosion resistance in aqueous media.

Sheets of CuNi10Fe1Mn are also suitable for ship hull cladding due to their anti-fouling properties and good resistance in the water-air zone. Copper alloys such as manganese bronze or nickel aluminium bronze are used for the production of ship propellers. Industrial maritime applications resort to copper alloys of cupronickel and aluminium bronze for the production of pipes, fittings, pump and valve parts. The proven operational performance of copper-nickel piping on ships and other marine equipment has led to recent increased use of these alloys in offshore applications.

Although the International Maritime Organization for LNG carriers was finalised and published without definitive reference to copper or copper alloys, and copper is not listed in the material table used in the IMO Standard IGC Code, the use of copper in this application is straightforward.

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