1. Clean the surface of air bags
First and foremost, you must clean up the air bag’s surface to make sure there is no sand or oil on it.
Then dry it and put it at a clean workplace. It could be in a shaded area or outdoors but please make sure it’s not going to rain/snow anytime soon!
Ensure that the marine air bag is fully dry before beginning the repair process.
2. Check and mark the damage area
Mark the area that needs to be repaired, which must be expand from center to outside (20-26cm) and remember that do not ignore the hidden damaged areas.
Note: the expansive range depends on the size of damage areas.
1) Sand the surface of damaged area until the cords show.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT damage the cords. Just exposing the cords is enough!
2) For some long cracks, you need to use needle and cord layer to suture
Sewing needle position about 2 ~ 3 cm away from crack, about 10 cm distance between stitches.
3) Wash the surface of repair part with gasoline and dry it.
4) Brush up some special glue on repair part
The glue is made by mixing raw rubber material with gasoline together.
How to make the ‘special glue’: Mix rubber raw material and gasoline together at a ratio of 1:8, meaning 1 portion of rubber requires 8 portions of gasoline.
5) Prepare the repair rubber material.
The repair material should be same with the airbags’ outer layer material.
Meanwhile, the structure layer 2-6 will be based on the size of damage area.
Seal the leakage area using pure rubber belt of 1mm thickness, the belt width and length should be more than 1cm around the crack.
6) Put the layers on the damaged areas.
The first layer of interleave is ordinate, the second layer of interleave is bias.
The angle should be same with the airbag, and it should be 20mm bigger than the first layer.
The third layer also is bias, the angle should be contrary with the second layer. It also needs 20mm bigger than the second layer.
From 4-layer to 6-layer, keep repeating the steps above. Circular angle should be required by interleave and the semi-diameter should be 40-50mm.
4. Thermal Vulcanisation Process
Next, you will have to vulcanise the repaired area.
At the process of vulcanisation, please remember to control the temperature up to 150 ±5 °C and apply maximum pressure to that area using a jack. Then closed the heat steel plate and permit it to cool very slowly to 60°C ( about 40 minutes). During this time, DO NOT remove the jack.
5. Inspection (before using air bag)
Check the repair area to make sure that are no holes/leakages.
Inflate the repaired marine air bag and monitor if there are no major leakage of air throughout the test duration.
NOTE: Please ensure the patched air bag is fully cooled down to room temperature BEFORE inflation for tests.
You can now safely launch a ship, haul in vessels for repairs or perform mobilisation projects in a more cost effective way.
MAX Airbag Launching is a safe, versatile & reliable option with a much lower capital investment.
Click here to learn more about the marine air bag product.