Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Sir Bedivere Hydraulic Valve Actuator Pipe Work Replacement

Work scope - To replace existing hydraulic pipe lines (approx. 27,000 metres) fitted to provide remote control from one central area to 321 hydraulically operated valves.

The MOD Warship agency required initially a solution to overcome the following areas of major concern:

  •     Frequent fluid leakage particularly overhead within manned working areas. These problems were caused by a combination of 'de chloride pitting' corrosion to the 10mm OD stainless steel pipe and 'chaffing' pipe work due to inadequate pipe clamping & support.
  •     Pipe work had not been marked to provide a method of identification - therefore fault diagnosis was very time consuming.
  •     Pipe work repairs and servicing of the system required the total system to be drained in order to safely disconnect pipelines.


To overcome these difficulties HB Hydraulic Engineering proposed and successfully secured the contract to supply, install, flush, pressure test and commission new pipe work based on a multi core/bundle system compliant to Lloyds Register and DNV class requirements.

Within each bundle the pipes were individually marked using different coloured flame retardant outer sheathing in combination with a bundle marking matrix to greatly assist user identification to each hydraulic valve.

Furthermore since the refit was required to occur whilst the ship was afloat and ships staff were to remain working on board a significant range of equipment needed to remain operational during the refit.

HB Hydraulic Engineering worked closely with the client's risk management team to assist in the identification of risks and the implementation of agreed actions.

The work scope included the installation of flow control's and isolation valves to provide local emergency and manual override control for strategic hydraulic valves.

The work was successfully completed on time and required HB Hydraulics on-site installation engineers to work at times within very restricted working conditions space and within an intense 24/7 work schedule.