Rounding of cut edges with thermal cutting tools



Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy


Fraunhofer IFAM, Meyer Yards, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems

Main partners

Dr. Andreas Momber


Rounding of cut edges with thermal cutting tools

Large vessels contain tens of kilometers of free edges, particularly in their tank sections. These edges must be manually beveled or rounded prior to the coating application. Modern ship building technology, however, includes thermal cutting tools, namely lasers or electron beams, for plate cutting. The innovative approach of the Bekas-Project is to apply these tools to the edge rounding as well by developing an integrated cutting-rounding process. 

The following results are achieved:

  • Geometrically well defined edges could be generated due to a remelting process during the thermal cutting processes.
  • A testing procedure was developed to investigate the performance of protective coatings over the edges under simulated ballast water tank conditions.
  • It was shown that the thermally rounded edges met the requirements defined by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).


Free edges in a ballast water tank, coated by Muehlhan

Polished cross section area of a steel edge, cut with a laser machine and coated in Muehlhan’s laboratory


Specimens, coated in Muehlhan’s laboratory, in the specially
IMO testing chamber