Norway’s Miko Marine has developed a new electric underwater drill and fastening system that can penetrate and join two metal plates up to 22mm thick in one action.
According to the company, the battery-powered Miko Fix drill can be operated by divers at any depth down to 50 metres. It is mounted in a specially designed stand that is clamped to the work piece by high –power permanent magnets.
When in use, the drill is loaded with a unique Miko bolt, the end of which is shaped and hardened to function as the drill bit. This cuts through the metal to be joined and enables its upper end to function as a self-tapping bolt that continues to penetrate so that it is screwed through the pieces that become securely joined. Using the Miko Fix system two steel plates each 10 mm thick can be drilled and joined in approximately 1 minute. When the bolt has been driven home the magnetic clamps are released enabling the process to be repeated at a new location.
The new drills and their stands weigh 6 kg in water and have been tested by Norwegian dive company Kambo Marina. “We used it to fix an anode to a steel plate and were very impressed with its efficiency and ease of use,” said general manager Ketil Svelland. “It is bound to have an impact upon the professional diving industry as it will increase the options available to us when we are doing repair work underwater. We are very proud to have been the first divers to use a new tool that in a few years is likely to be seen everywhere.”
The new Miko Fix system can be used for a huge variety of repair and construction tasks underwater although it was developed specifically for use with the Miko FlexiShape patch. These are manufactured by Miko to provide a temporary water-tight seal that can be used to close-off damage to a ship’s hull and make it seaworthy for sailing to a dry dock for permanent repair.
Image: Miko Marine