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How to repair the boats at - 50 ° C

  • Published in InFocus
f 89f79388fb3ed1e4cfb12fded40384c6672b7be5The unique weather conditions of Yakutia make their adjustments to virtually all spheres of human life. Thus, repair of ships carrying people and cargo down the rivers of the republic is performed by a unique technology in the winter. Today we will tell you about the unique methodology of the winter inspection and repair of ships frozen in the ice.

The technique is called freezing out. It is used by the northern river transport workers since ancient times. Its essence lies in the gouging of ice around the ship. Almost all ships cruising down the Lena River arrive at the town of Zhatai, situated 15 km away from Yakutsk, for wintering, and their quantity is more than 130, and that is where all the work of repair of ships is done. With the onset of the first frost in November and the formation of ice on the river the work begins. The ship should not be moved, but the workers simply cut it out of ice. Along the perimeter of the ship and under the keel appear narrow caves, carved into the frozen river. Through these manholes a repair team can get to that part of the bottom, which is usually hidden under the water.

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In order to free the desired part of the vessel from under the ice they cut down the icy pit around it – a lane. The problem is that the river gets frozen slowly: at the beginning of the work the ice thickness can hardly be up to 50 cm. The first 20 cm of ice is necessary to very carefully remove and wait until the river freezes more half a meter deep. Freezing out is possible thanks to this process: the ice depth is increased artificially. If the cold starts to weaken, workers install huge fans above the lanes to drive cold air into the wells, and the ice at the bottom begins to freeze faster.

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In order to competently hollow out the lane, one needs to conduct circular works: hollow out the lane and work on the other, until the ice freezes on the first. During the day the ice thickness increases by approximately four centimeters. Each worker usually hollows out twenty lanes, three or four per day. Workers in Zhataí are happy if the temperature reaches -50 °. When there are hard frosts, in a week the ice freezes half meter immediately. The work is faster and there is no risk to stumble upon the water.

From November to February an experienced worker cam exempt four ships from the ice. It is easy to imagine the amount of work when you consider that over the winter the workers cut out up to 7 thousand cubic meters of ice.

Based on the media