The European Blue Nodules project aimed to develop an innovative system capable of harvesting polymetallic nodules from the seabed with minimal environmental impact. MechDes devised and assessed concepts for clamping an umbilical to a tube (riser), in order to extract minerals from the deep-sea bottom.
The coupling and uncoupling of the clamp takes place in the moonpool of the ship. This is done automatically, without human intervention. The clamping system had to be simple and reliable. We therefore also designed and built a machine for carrying out endurance tests.
To make sure that the devised solution was also workable, we developed a machine to test the clamp in combination with the umbilical. This enabled us to demonstrate that the performance and service life of the cable clamp matched theoretical expectations and was therefore workable.