THE entire British Steel (BS) fleet of bulk carriers is to be fitted with the shipboard stress monitoring system developed by British Maritime Technology (BMT). Each of the eight ships in the fleet will have a system consisting of nine sensors installed to monitor the overall stress on the hull girder while averaging out the effect of local imperfections and surface irregularities. Vessel racking will also be monitored and a display on the ship's bridge will relay the stresses the ship is currently experiencing. BS marine superintendent captain Jim Butcher said: ''British Steel is committed to a policy of maintaining the highest possible standards of safety, and we see BMT's stress monitoring system as an important contribution to that policy. ''In a scenario where the sea state is causing excessive stress on the ship's hull, the BMT system will enable those on the bridge to make an informed decision either to reduce speed or change the vessel's heading to reduce risk of damage.'' The BMT system also keeps a permanent record of data acquired across every voyage. Captain Butcher said this feature of the system would help BS bulk shipping and its managers, Furness Withy and Ropners Shipping Services, to build up a powerful data bank of information on its fleet, which would assist BS in the planning and forecastingof long-term repair and maintenance strategies. Phil Thompson, managing director of the newly-formed BMT SeaTech, said the whole issue of stress monitoring and other new developments in vessel safety had been one of the main contributing factors in the formation of SeaTech. BMT SeaTech is the group's focal point for hydrodynamics, structures and maritime operations services. ''We see vessel safety and operational management as one of the main areas of activity for the new business,'' Mr Thompson said. BMT SeaTech will also provide consultancy in areas of structures, noise vibration, measurement and trials. BMT has formed two other subsidiaries, BMT Port and Coastal and BMT Shipdesign.