Skip to main content

Wear and Friction Modeling on Lifeboat Launch Systems.

Thomas, B., Hadfield, M. and Austen, S., 2010. Wear and Friction Modeling on Lifeboat Launch Systems. Tribology Transactions , 53 (4), 584-599.

This is the latest version of this eprint.

Full text available as:

Trib.Trans.2009.pdf - Accepted Version


DOI: 10.1080/10402001003602779


The RNLI provides search and rescue cover along the UK and RoI coast using a variety of lifeboats and launch techniques. In locations where there is no natural harbour it is necessary to use a slipway to launch the lifeboat into the sea. Lifeboat slipway stations consist of an initial section where the boat is held on rollers followed by an inclined keelway lined with low friction composite materials, the lifeboat is released from the top of the slipway and proceeds under its own weight into the water. The lifeboat is later recovered using a winch line. It is common to manually apply grease to the composite slipway lining before each launch and recovery in order to ensure sufficiently low friction for successful operation. With the introduction of the Tamar class lifeboat it is necessary to upgrade existing boathouses and standardise slipway operational procedures to ensure consistent operation. The higher contact pressures associated with the new lifeboat have led to issues of high friction and wear on the composite slipway linings and the manual application of grease to reduce friction is to be restricted due to environmental impact and cost factors. This paper presents a multidisciplinary approach to modelling slipway panel wear and friction using tribometer testing in conjunction with finite element analysis and slipway condition surveys to incorporate common real-world effects such as panel misalignments. Finally, it is shown that a freshwater lubrication system is effective, reducing cost and environmental impacts while maintaining good friction and wear performance.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Lifeboats; Marine; Friction Mechanisms; Stress Analysis; Wear Mechanisms
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:16178
Deposited By: Dr Ben Thomas
Deposited On:22 Sep 2010 11:45
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:35

Available Versions of this Item


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -