Axair Fans Defend Famous English Warship from Latest Assault

The new Mary Rose Museum opened in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on 31st May 2013, thirty one years since the historic warship was raised from the bed of the Solent.  The purpose-built museum was specially designed to give visitors a first-hand experience of the ship’s interior and the fascinating Tudor artefacts which have been reunited with the hull.

Conservation of the hull and the recovered artefacts has been on-going since the recovery of the ship in 1982. The recovered starboard hull was first treated with a spray solution of polyethylene glycol, then by a controlled drying process which should be substantially completed during the latter part of 2015.

The recovered section of the ship sits on a cradle, which in turn is
mounted on a barge deck. The barge deck is supported by pillars built up from the dock bottom; this creates a considerable void space under the barge deck which is subjected to ground water ingress. In order to clear any water build up there are a number of pumps at the West end of the dock bottom. Using a culverts system, the pumps discharge the water back to harbour. This process could lead to the build-up of methane gas under the barge deck, therefore Axair supplied two Sodeca HCDF-35-4M fans which have been mounted at the East and West ends of the dock to create air movement within this area. These plate axial fans are used to pull air from the space in-between.

The Sodeca HCDF-35-4M is a small-diameter, wall-mounted axial fan. Its ATEX approved IIBT4 flame resistant Motor makes it suitable for use in potentially explosive atmospheres while an ingress protection rating of IP55 means it is resistant to dust and (hosed) water. Available with a three-phase power supply as standard,  the HCDF-35-4m is capable of an airflow of 2950 m/h and can operate in temperatures as low as -20ºC, and as high as + 40ºC. The fan can be specified to meet different ATEX categories and windings can be adapted to suit different voltages and frequencies.

The Story of the Mary Rose

On coming to the throne in 1509, Henry VIII started a major expansion of his navy by building two warships – the Mary Rose and Peter Pomegranate. The Mary Rose became the pride of Henry VIII’s naval fleet. She entered the service in 1511 and served for 34 years before sinking in the Solent whilst leading the attack on a French invasion fleet.

Sadly this led to the loss of over 500 of her crew, with fewer than 35 surviving.  Remarkably, the ship then lay undisturbed until 1836 when local divers carried out a partial salvage which led to the wreck being identified as the Mary Rose.  However, it wasn’t until 1971 following further research that a survey and trial excavations were carried out to determine the feasibility of recovering the hull and her many artefacts.

An extraordinary maritime archaeology project then ensued which culminated in the hull being raised in 1982, 437 years after her sinking, together with over 19,000 artefacts, providing the largest collection of Tudor artefacts in the world.

For museum information and to find out more about the Mary Rose, visit

To find out more about the HCDF and the Sodeca range, Contact one of our Product Engineers today.


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