Composite Shipbuilding Project Gearing Up

The Realisation and Demonstration of Advanced Material Solutions for Sustainable and Efficient Ships (RAMSSES) project has reached a key milestone.

On 18 July, at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding’s (DSNS) shipyard in the Netherlands, the project’s partners unveiled the recently assembled full scale composite ship’s hull section that has been in development for three years.

‘Custom Made Hull for Offshore Vessel’ represents one of thirteen demonstrators that make up the EU-funded RAMSSES project. The project can now progress with a series of tests to demonstrate the viability of large composite ships as a sustainable shipping solution.

Marcel Elenbaas, senior engineer at research & technology support DSNS, said: “The use of composites for larger ships has significant consequences for the entire design of the ship. If it is lighter, a vessel uses less fuel and produces lower emissions. The vessel also requires smaller engines, which means more space for additional systems, making for a more versatile platform. And of course, composites require considerably less maintenance than a steel vessel.”

Scaling up technology

Regulations covering composite shipbuilding only cover vessels up to 500t – approximately 25m in length. RAMSSES aims to address this by scaling up composite technology and capacity to design, produce and market composite vessels up to 85m long, in compliance with all regulations.

This section of the project is led by DSNS and Damen Shipyards Gorinchem (DSGo), which has developed the baseline design. Engineering has been performed by Airborne UK and InfraCore Company. Evonik has developed the resin to infuse the composites. TNO will perform full scale tests for validation of design, quality management and structural performance.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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