Cutter suction dredgers (CSDs)
can dredge most kinds of soils
(sand, clay or rock), using a rotating
cutter head to loosen the material
in the seabed. The cutter head and
a suction tube are attached to a
ladder at the fore of the vessel.
Steel cables are used to move the
ladder in a sweeping motion with
one or more layers of material
being cut away as the ladder is
lowered one cutting thickness
with each swing. Dredged material
is then discharged to shore via a
floating pipeline or onto a specially
designed barge.
Tacoma, Washington machine
shop to utilise their previous
experience in cutter head
assembly to design and
manufacture all the fixtures and
tooling required for the project.
In fact several of Bradken’s
facilities took part in the
project, with the Scunthorpe
foundry casting and machining
the structural components
(hub, arms and ring) and
the Darlaston foundry
manufacturing the dredge
Ground Engaging Tools
including the new TwistCam
adapters and teeth, and locking
In order for the cutter head to
operate at optimum efficiency,
great care was taken to ensure
the accurate assembly of
the cutter head components
whilst maintain a strict contour
and cutting angles. At three
separate stages during the
project representatives from
Van Oord travelled to inspect
the accuracy of Bradken’s work
to ensure it met with the tight
dimensional tolerances needed
to operate the cutter head
productively, and ultimately
commended our team on
the high level of commitment
and accuracy shown in the
production of our first cutter
After a series of final checks
the completed part, weighing 8
tonnes and featuring a total of
54 cutting teeth, was returned
to the Scunthorpe foundry for
some finishing touches before
being dispatched in April 2015
for installation on one of Van
Oord’s vessels in operation
on the Company’s dredging
projects in the Caspian Sea
(off the coast of Kazakhstan).
As a result of our involvement
in this project, Bradken has
been approached by multiple
customers enquiring about the
manufacture of larger cutter
heads. Anthony said the team
in Europe are exciting about the
prospect of future work in this
field; “The engineering team
have excelled themselves and
are certainly looking forward to
the next cutter head project.”
TwistCam Locking Pin
Dredge Tooth
Hybrid Dredge
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