Research into alternative shipbuilding materials

The hull will be tested alongside thirteen innovative maritime products The hull will be tested alongside thirteen innovative maritime products

A four-year project funded by the EU is seeking to research alternative lighter weight shipbuilding materials to reduce energy and maintenance costs for operators.

The Realisation and Demonstration of Advanced Material Solutions for Sustainable and Efficient Ships (RAMSSES) project involves 36 partners from 12 countries, which began working together in June 2017.

This project’s overall aim is to develop an all-composite ship hull which will measure around 70m in length, which will then be subject to testing under real-life conditions on the high seas.

Plus, the hull will be tested alongside thirteen innovative maritime products with proven benefits and used as a testbed for pilot solutions.

It’s hoped that the new hull, made from impact-resistant vinyl ester resins, will provide operators with lower fuel demands or allow them to achieve to greater cargo capacity.

Another advantage of fibre-reinforced composites is that they don’t rust and negate the need for applying protective coatings, thereby saving on maintenance costs.

The project consortium includes of the speciality chemicals company, Evonik, but also includes leading shipbuilders Meyer-Werft, Papenburg, and Damen Shipbuilding. They are joined by established parts and equipment manufacturers including Becker Marine Systems.

Part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the project will run until 2021 and receive €10.8 million in EU funding.

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