ASNE And SNAME Pacific Northwest Section Hold Joint Meeting In Bremerton, Washington
Approximately 90 members and guests attended a joint meeting of the Pacific Northwest Section of The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and the American Society of Naval Engineers held at the Commissioned O f f i c e r s ' Mess, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., June 8, 1978.
Prior to the meeting, a tour of the Naval Shipyard was experienced by the U.S. citizens, while non-U.S. citizens enjoyed a visit to the battleship USS Missouri, of World War II fame.
Capt. J. K. Nunneley, Commander of the shipyard, welcomed members and guests of both Societies to Bremerton. M.L. Ingwersen, executive vice president, Lockheed Shipbuilding, and chairman of ASNE, also welcomed all SNAME members and guests, and trusted that this would be the forerunner of many meetings to come.
After dinner, a technical paper titled "Use of Air Bearings for Pierside Loading Ramps" was presented by Marcellus W. Cave, mechanical engineer, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
In his opening remarks, the author stated that the purpose of this paper was the justification of the selection of air bearings to support a vehicle loading/offloading ramp for waterborne ships, especially an a i r c r a f t carrier, which required unloading 700 to 1,000 personal vehicles of the crew necessary for their moving into Bremerton housing to allow the overhaul work to begin as soon as possible. Using the existing method, consisting of a ramp worked by a small crew and crane, unloading time was two days, therefore improvement was mandatory. This was obtained after an analysis of the performance of the following types of bearings: (1) Air or water bearings; (2) Rubber tread casters; (3) Vibrathane tread casters, and (4) Spherical bearings.
Air bearings were selected on the basis that: (a) They offer practically no opposition to movement in any horizontal direction; (b) They impose much smaller forces on the aircraft carrier than the others; (c) They are fairly inexpensive to purchase ($1,000 to $1,500 for a bearing rated at 20,000 pounds), and (d) They are inexpensive to operate (about $.025 per hour for the above bearing).
In conclusion, the author stated that after the existing steel ramp was modified to accept air bearings, the unloading time was reduced from two days to two hours, with further timesavings expected as more experience was gained. The original goal had been attained. Copies of the paper can be obtained from the Section Librarian, C.S. Bracken, P.O. Box 24382, Seattle, Wash. 98124.