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Pipelines and pumps are an important part of a ship's design. Ships use some form of liquids or gases for all its functions, whether it is related to ship's operations or cargo handling. All these liquids and gases are stored it tanks or compressed chambers and from they are supplied to different equipments with the help of pumps. It is not necessary that the pumps are located near the tanks. Sometimes the pump rooms are on a totally different deck. To connect the pumps to the tanks and the tanks to the equipments lengthy pipe lines are used. Also, most of the machinery on the ship use a closed circuit system. This means that the liquid or gases goes back to the chamber from where it came from. For this reason too, pipe lines are used.
The main problem is this jungle of pipelines is to identify which pipeline carries what material. As all the pipelines pass through different bulkheads and decks and are entangled in such a way that it is often difficult to trace a pipe line during fault finding or maintenance. Also the pipelines being non transparent, the content or direction of flow cannot be determined. Hence there arises a need to mark the pipelines by keeping universal color codes in order to identify them easily at times of emergencies. Let me also tell you that the trainee engineer is the untitled pipeline locator in the ship's engine room
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Pipelines can be distinguished from eachother by marking them on the basis of the content they carry. Marking not only helps to identify the content of the pipeline but also the direction of the flow. Marking should be done in universally accepted color codes so that identification becomes easy whichever country the ship may belong.
Marking is done in mainly two ways :
1)By coloring the whole pipe with the universally accepted codes.
2)By using marking tapes with specific color patterns at strategic locations.
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Coloring The Whole Pipe
Both the type of marking systems are equally famous. In the first type of method the whole pipe line is colored on the basis of the content it carries. The coloring is done mainly during the time of machinery installation of immediately after that. The color codes are accepted universally, thus making it easy during the time of emergency and maintenance work which not only ensures safety of the crew but also faster work. Pipelines are coded according to the codes given in the diagram.
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Using Marking Tapes
On many ships marking tapes are used to reduce the labor involved with painting the whole pipeline. But there are certain guidelines that needs to be followed in order to make the marking system beneficial for use.
There are two types of tapes that are available for marking:
1) Multi color tapes - These tapes are pre-colored according to the universal codes and just needs to be installed on the pipelines. It is the most easiest way for marking.
2) Single Color System - These are narrow single colored strips that can be used in creating the combination that is needed. Though cheap and flexible to use, the installation process might take a very longer time.
To make the whole marking system beneficial for use there are some guidelines that needs to be followed.
- Each pipe line should be marked at least once in all the rooms that it passes through.
- The pipelines should be marked mainly near valves, pumps, filters, tanks and close to room entrances so that they are easily visible.
- The should overlap every 3-4 cm during installation.
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Color coding pattern
The making patter of the tapes should be done according the color codes given in the diagram.The universally accepted tapes pattern are easily identified in all the parts of the world.
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