NOV Mono Pumps Complete 20-Year Project to Preserve Historic Tudor Warship
In 1954, Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose sank to the bottom of the Solent straight, where she remained for nearly 430 years. The process to recover and restore the historic warship has spanned more than 50 years, beginning with her discovery in 1971. This year, a twenty-year segment of that restoration process by NOV Mono pumps came to a close.
The Mary Rose was not successfully raised from the water until 1982, at which point extensive cleaning was required before any preservation could take place. For more than a decade, archeologists worked to remove sediment from the ship, replace missing deck timbers with specially manufactured titanium beams and remove bacteria from the existing timber.
In 1994, a pair of E122 NOV Mono progressive cavity pumps were selected for a 20-year project that would play a critical role in the preservation process and stabilize the Mary Rose’s fragile timbers. From 360 spray nozzles located throughout the ship, the pumps delivered a constant spray of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG), a wax that gradually replaces the water in the timbers. The progressive cavity pumps were supported by four smaller Mono pumps, which operated the heating and cooling circuits that maintained the PEG at an optimum spray temperature.
“The ship’s timbers had to be kept fully moistened at all times, so the pumps used had to be totally reliable if the timbers were to be properly preserved,” says Mono’s Senior Sales Engineer, Mike Burton. “This project really has shown how Mono pumps can provide consistently high levels of performance year after year and simply go on giving excellent service.”
Halfway through the project when maintenance was required on a gearbox, the Mono pumps were also inspected. Despite 10 years of continuous service at speeds of 279 rpm and circulating 2,000 lpm of the PEG solution, the pumps required only one stator component replacement. During this maintenance period, six additional Mono Industrial E range pumps were added to the project to increase capacity of the heating and cooling circuits.
With the 20-year project to restore and seal the Mary Rose’s timbers complete, the warship will now be dried out in environmentally controlled conditions while on display in the new £27million museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. She is the only 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world.