MECATRACTION masters its DBI technology for shipbuilding

In cooperation with SE Teknikk-Olimpic Shipping, DNV GL, Amo Specialkabel AB and MECATRACTION, it was decided to set up an experimental installation in the new Olympic Bibby vessel with class 5 aluminium cables. Olympic Bibby provides maintenance of foreign oil platforms.

For this application, Amo Specialkabel AB designed a new range of Power Alu-Flex texline cables; MECATRACTION supplied DBI 150 mm2 tubular cable terminals with the associated crimping technology. DBI technology combines three areas of MECATRACTION expertise:

- The watertight automotive tubular cable terminal
- B-crimping for flexible cables
- The deep crimping of the cable terminal designed for the aeronautics industry

To ensure the highest reliability and performance, the three forms of crimping are carried out in a single step. The installation was completed in 2015. DNV GL carried out several inspections on the behaviour of the installation and in particular the temperature of the DBI tubular cable terminals. In addition, a special test programme implemented jointly with DNV GL was successfully carried out by the MECATRACTION laboratory. After 3 years and more than 11,000 hours, DNV GL granted approval to use connection cable terminals for low voltage power cables with aluminium conductors in combination with 2 certificates, one for the Amokabel 'Power Alu-Flex texline' range and one for the MECATRACTION range of 'DBI 95, DBI 120 and DBI 150' cable terminals.

This new technology enables the development of shipbuilding activities adapted to the growing role of electrification of ship propulsion. Using aluminium cables combined with our DBI technology, cost savings could represent nearly 30% compared to copper cables and traditional terminals. The weight reduction will be around 50%. For example, an offshore support vessel may contain 60 tonnes of installed copper cables. What's more, lighter aluminium cables will be easier to install than copper cables.

With approval from the DNV GL, we are now permitted to promote this globally unique and approved solution for naval installations.