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AB

The International Marine Contractors Association

Acrylic Plastic Viewports

www.imca-int.com

AODC 030
November 1984

After 10 years service a viewport should be replaced. If any significant damage is seen then expert advice should be sought (for example from a manufacturer) to establish whether replacement is needed. This can be demonstrated by holding a white sheet of paper behind it. As it decomposes it gradually turns yellow.1 3. AODC 030 – November 1984 Page 1 .Acrylic Plastic Viewports Acrylic Plastic Viewports have been in satisfactory use for a number of years. as this could cause cracking.3 3 3. Viewports which are not marked or properly documented should not be used.2 2 2. therefore. experience has shown that 10 years is normally a safe working life for an acrylic plastic viewport. However. a serial number and the certifying surveyors identification should always be marked indelibly on the circumference of the viewport.1 DETERIORATION Acrylic Plastic will start to decompose after a certain period. This Guidance Note. The effect of pressure is to increase the rate of yield. However. It is very important that regular visual inspections are carried out to determine if there has been any mechanical damage as evidenced by chips. 1. a recent development. deep scratches or crazing. Acrylic Plastic exposed to direct sunlight decomposes more quickly and should be examined at least annually for signs of deterioration. 1 1. testing them by polarised light has shown that there are various misconceptions about them. even if it appears not to have deteriorated. however. Slight yellowness is. Any acrylic plastic viewport which has been subjected to pressure will have a slight permanent deformation and will. 2. which has been prepared following advice from DnV seeks to correct these misconceptions. acceptable.2 YIELDING All acrylic plastics yield continuously even when not under pressure.1 CERTIFICATION The date of examination. This can be by engraving or indelible ink or similar but it must not be by the use of metal stamps. contain a certain level of inbuilt stress.2 2.

When mounting an acrylic plastic viewport it is important to check that the housing is the correct dimension and that the viewport and any sealing gaskets or 'O' rings are properly seated and of the correct size.2 4.3 4.2 5. 5. can cause undesirable stresses in the acrylic material. The use of polarised light to check that acrylic plastic viewports are correctly mounted and evenly prestressed is not a simple matter and should not be used as a principal test.3 CONCLUSIONS Acrylic Plastic viewports should be properly certified and marked prior to use. This does not necessarily indicate a fault. is of very limited use as all such viewports will show evidence of inbuilt stress.1 5. Examination of an acrylic plastic viewport by polarised light. 5 5. or unless expert advice confirms a fault. It may be used as a supplementary test but indications of stress in the viewport are normal and should not be regarded as reason for replacement. The removal of inbuilt stress is a complex process involving removal and specialised heat treatment. Viewports will almost certainly need recertification after such treatment. As explained in 3.4 POLARISED LIGHT Polarised light will show up areas of different stress as different colours. Acrylic Plastic viewports should be replaced after 10 years service.5 Page 2 AODC 030 – November 1984 . after the viewport has been in service. which should only be undertaken by a company specialising in such work.2 any acrylic plastic viewport will show areas of stress when examined by polarised light. It takes a very skilled and experienced specialist to interpret the level of stress shown by polarised light.4 5. unless there are other indications.4 4. Oversized 'O' rings to take up wear or minor dimensional variations.1 4. particularly if the 'O' ring locates in a groove in the viewport.