At Fimbinger GmbH in Austria, the product is finished, after a development process that spanned more than three years

Novel Material Raises the Most Basic Design

May 2, 2014
Form and function are reconsidered in a new high-strength stainless steel product Three-year development program Design saves weight, material cost Optimal corrosion resistance

Which comes first, design or function? The answer may not seem so difficult in the case of an anchor: it’s function is obvious, seemingly fixed in some preindustrial past with a design not much advanced beyond the first iteration.  Think again. The trick to an anchor’s design is to concentrate its mass so as to maintain its ‘grounding’ function, but to keep the object from becoming unwieldy in unstable circumstances.

In short, an anchor is not just an anchor, which is clear by the work of Fimbinger GmbH, an Austrian specialty machine builder that devoted three years to developing the Seahawk SHHP Anchor®.

The anchor consists of just three parts and has no welds.

In some parts of the shipbuilding industry, a three-year development program for an anchor may not seem out of line. This anchor combines exceptional design with high functionality, and bests other models available not only with its high-quality processing but also with its lower weight (and therefore lower cost), as well as its higher holding power.

One special detail about the newly patented anchor is that it consists of just three parts — forgings and castings, and no welds.  The forged and turned anchor bar, secured by a crescent with two locking screws, is simply inserted into the anchor blade. With this novel, three-part construction, the anchor can be dimensioned 25% smaller than in the conventional design. That innovation saves weight as well as material and production costs.

The material is a specialty alloy provided by Schmolz + Bickenbach. A decision was made to use a duplex stainless steel that contains, among other elements, chromium, nickel and molybdenum. Thus, the anchor achieves optimal corrosion resistance, an important factor for ships operating in salt, brackish, or fresh water. 

The cast parts were produced by S+B using its Contura® process, which prevents corrosion-causing carbonization in the edge zone. It also achieves a very smooth surface finish. That’s also important to reduce surface oxidation, but the results are so effective that in the final surface treatment there are no faulty areas to be ground.

The anchor is supplied by Fimbinger with a high-gloss polished or bead-blasted finish. A further benefit of the duplex steel is its inherent high strength — 750 N/mm2 — which has a positive effect on the holding power of the anchor. Reportedly, it has three times the holding power of comparable models, allowing it to be classified as SHHP (Special High Holding Power), the highest possible designation of holding power.

The anchors are available in eight standard sizes between 55 and 200 kg. Larger, custom produced anchors are available up to 20,000 kg.