Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the manufacturer of the world’s largest propellers, has set a new record in this category. The newest propeller is 101.5 tons in weight and 9.1 meters in diameter, or as large as a 3-story building. While a standard commercial propeller has between 4 and 5 blades, this propeller has 6. It is intended for the first of four 7,200 TEU containerships, currently under construction for Hapag Lloyd. Until now the largest propeller in the world was 99.9 tons, manufactured for a 5,600 TEU containership built by HHI in March.
The propeller is being built as a part of a propulsion train consisting of the world’s most powerful diesel engine of 93,360 bhp (2,157 tons) and a 420-ton crankshaft. This important component requires a high degree of precision to manufacture, as together with the engine, determine the cruising speed, vibration level, noise level, fuel efficiency, and other crucial factors of a ship’s performance. Hyundai Heavy Industries has built over 1,300 propellers since 1985, and supplies them to 15 shipyards, including domestic shipyards as well as shipyards in Germany, England, The Netherlands, Greece, Japan, Taiwan, and other countries.