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JC010: Mud volcanoes and submarine canyons


 JC10



Jez's Top 5 Useful Machines...

...No 2: the winches

Machine: The winches

What it does:

A winch is a machine that winds up a rope or wire. There are lots of different types of rope used.

Kevlar rope is neutrally buoyant in water (this means it doesn’t add any mass to the object when it is in water.

Cored wire has a fibre optic cable inside it so that it can relay information back to a computer on the ship. It is more delicate and is heavy in water, so the engineers need to think about this when they are doing their calculations for safe working loads. There are also tapered wires which are different thicknesses along the length. This is to help reduce the effects of the wire being heavy in the water.


The winchroom has two types of winches:

1. Direct pull winches
These put strain on a wire so that the wire is wound back onto the winch. When the wires are being wound out they also need to be kept under tension so that they are not too loose as this can be dangerous.

2. Traction winches
These spread the load to a storage drum. Some of them have different sections that can all spin at different speeds.

Amazingly, some of the winches have up to 15km of wire on them!


Where it is (X marks the spot):


Who is in charge of it:

Yes, it is Mark Squibb!

The winches, along with the other machines are all serviced by Tom and Viv though. They do this on a rolling programme so that everything is kept in full working order and when they finish, they start again!

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