Strong boat and ship hulls
Shipbuilding is one of the most ancient industries with a long history of development from the times of the ancient Egypt to modern era. Technologies evolved together with the shipbuilding materials: from leather or bark on a wicker hull to state-of-the-art high strength carbon fiber composites.
Weight, strength, stiffness, and water resistance are critical in shipbuilding. Carbon fiber composites meet the requirements and reduce ship maintenance costs.
The primary advantage of carbon fiber reinforced plastic in shipbuilding is the opportunity of creating large elements with less connections. The structure loses weight and gains rigidity, getting stronger in some cases.
||Tensile strength, MPa||Tensile modulus, GPa||Elongation at break, %||Density, g/cm3|
|Carbon fiber made of PAN precursor||high strength, standard modulus||3500-5000||200-280||1.4-2.0||1.75-1.80|
|high strength, intermediate modulus||4500-7000||280-325||1.7-2.1||1.73-1.81|
|ultra high modulus||2500-4000||450-600||0.7-1.0||1.85-1.95|
Surface and underwater ships assume heavy duty under constant exposure to water, salts, and other minerals.
Some catamarans and yachts have hulls fully made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Russia, Norway, Denmark, France, Italy, and other countries manufacture such vessels. Carbon fiber composites reduce the ship weight by an average of 30% to 40%, improve impact resistance by at least 20%, extend service life by at least 50%.
Composites are prevalently used to make small boats and yachts. Vessels like those are visually attractive and lightweight to save on fuel.
Carbon fiber is also used to build larger projects. The 143-meter long hull of the world’s largest Sailing Yacht A is made of steel with carbon fiber inserts to reduce weight. Its three 100-meter tall masts all of carbon fiber claim to be the tallest free standing objects of composites in the world.
Carbon fiber substituted glass fiber reinforced plastic in shipbuilding that had been used since the middle of the last century.
The introduction of carbon fiber composites in 1961 was a change to the industry. Modern composites provide a perfect alternative to conventional materials. They offer superior service and fatigue performance, high chemical and corrosion resistance.
They started using carbon fiber composites in various branches of mechanical engineering not so long ago. Carbon fiber composites have been substituting more and more conventional engineering and construction materials since then.
One of the focal areas in contemporary shipbuilding is lower material consumption at the same reliability and corrosion resistance. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic meets the challenge and makes ships lighter, stronger, and better in terms of water resistance.