The modern world relies on ships to transport goods and move passengers. You can also use ships as tools for research and exploration. But have you ever thought about how shipyard workers build ships?
Shipyards require specialized equipment, trustworthy materials, and workers who stay focused on safety and efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at three interesting facts about building ships.
Fact #1: Shipyards Have Massive Equipment
Shipyards rely on some equipment to move heavy pieces into place. Because of this, the equipment itself can be massive. For example, the world’s strongest crane, named Taisun, works in a shipyard in China.
Taisun holds the Guinness World Record for the heaviest lift of 20,000 metric tons. This crane also has the second and third largest lift records at 17,100 tons and 14,000 tons. Impressive!
Like other massive pieces of shipbuilding equipment, Taisun helps keep workers safe. Previously, shipyard workers at the site had to install prefabricated sections from the ground up. This was complicated and dangerous work. Thanks to Taisun, much larger prefabricated pieces can be put together with the crane, making the process easier and safer.
Fact #2: Workers Build Ships With Aluminum
The two most popular metals used in ships are steel and aluminum alloy. That’s because of their properties, such as yield strength, tensile strength, corrosion resistance, and weight.
A material’s yield strength is the maximum stress it can endure before it changes shape permanently. Tensile strength is the resistance to lengthwise stress, such as from pulling, before the point where the material breaks.
While steel has excellent durability, workers also use aluminum in shipbuilding for a variety of reasons. One key reason is that using aluminum makes the ship much lighter, improving the ship’s stability.
Fact #3: Shipbuilding Is Dangerous
Another interesting fact about building ships is that workers must be conscientious and aware of the conditions around them. Since they work outside, weather conditions directly affect their work environment.
Workers sometimes work high up on vertical ship walls. Other times, they can work in tiny spaces. So workers must be physically fit and flexible to get the job done.
While equipment such as cranes helps make the work easier and safer, workers must stay aware of moving objects. Dangerous equipment, such as welding torches, also surrounds workers. And while workers must watch the space around them, they must also stay aware of what’s underfoot so that they don’t trip on the ground level or fall from great heights.