3D CNC Machined Cavitation Unit

The Problem

Invasive marine species are one of the four greatest threats to the world’s oceans, the impact of which is generally irreversible. The diverse range of organisms that ship’s carry in their ballast water remains the biggest pollution challenge facing the shipping industry today since there are thousands of marine species small enough to pass through ships’ ballast water intake and pumps. These include bacteria and other microbes, small invertebrates and the eggs, cysts and larvae of various species.

The Approach

To address the problem, a high power cavitation device was specially developed where the ballast water is, amongst other treatments, subjected to intense pressure pulses arising from controlled hydrodynamic cavitation. Harnessed in this way, these pressure pulses are intense enough to rupture cell membranes and destroy particles and organisms by forcing them to rupture, collapse or collide with one another. Several variations of the design were tested which were easily modifiable due to the 3D CNC Machining techniques used. Inherent high accuracy to tolerances of +/- 0.01 mm were achieved.

The Result

The high power cavitation device greatly improved the overall effectiveness of the treatment process and resulted in the client passing all stages of the Type Approval process whilst also being fully compliant with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Ballast Water performance standards and the International Convention for the Control & Management of Ships Ballast Water & Sediments.