March 10, 2004

VSP blade after machining

Sea trials demonstrate efficiency of new Voith Schneider Propeller blades

new VSP size 36R6/255-2 with 3,380 kW propeller input powerSea trials of the Voith Water Tractor "BAUT" owned by Norway's Bukser og Berging, have demonstrated the improved characteristics of a new generation of Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP) blades. Bollard pull was improved by 9%, while the input power remained unchanged. Measurements of bollard pull were carried out under DNV supervision.

Voith Schneider Propellers and Voith Water Tractors (VWT) are known in marine circles for precise, efficient and safe ship assistance. The VSP allows accurate, stepless and extremely swift thrust variations in accordance with XY coordinates.

To improve further the hydrodynamic characteristics of the VSP, a new generation of blades has been developed using numeric simulation of the fluid dynamics. This CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) method initially serves to optimize the shape of the propeller blade; it also provides the exact loads for the structural and mechanical optimization by using the Finite Element Method (FEM).

The new blade generation has the following characteristics:

  • Improved propeller blade profile
  • Increased, uniform profile thickness across the entire blade length
  • Reduced weight due to hollow drills
  • Rectangular blade geometry with optimized end plates

Hydrodynamic effects associated with the new blades are:

  • Increased efficiency of VSP
  • Improved hydrodynamic characteristics
  • Increased ratio from lift to resistance
  • Reduced vibrations and noise emission

The new VSP blades for the propeller size 36R6/255-2 represent an important step towards the further improvement of the hydromechanics of Voith Schneider Propellers.

For new propellers, the new profiles will be standard; any further improvements can be realized with immediate effect.

Detailed information on the subject is available at