The composite hull-section demonstrator within the EU-funded RAMSSES project is progressing. On 18 July, the project partners unveiled a full-scale composite ship hull section at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding’s (DSNS) facility in Vlissingen-East, the Netherlands.
The section will now undergo a series of tests that are intended to demonstrate the viability of large composite ships as a sustainable shipping solution.
Currently however, in the absence of approved guidelines, regulations covering composite shipbuilding only cover vessels up to 500 tonnes – approximately 25 metres in length. RAMSSES aims to address this by scaling up the composite technology and capacity to design, produce and market composite vessels up to 85 metres long in full compliance with Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and class regulations by validating the production process of large composite structures with economic improvement and key performance indicators for fire-resistance, impact resistance and structural robustness.
This work 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, who have brought their expertise in composites to the project. Evonik has developed the resin to infuse the composites.
Following assembly, TNO will now perform full scale tests for validation of design, quality management and structural performance. Bureau Veritas has provided consultancy and advice.
The approval process has been developed in close cooperation with Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), Netherlands Maritime Technology Foundation and Bureau Veritas. A Hazld (hazard identification) test has already been performed by RISE and Bureau Veritas to address all fire risks. The fire performance criteria defined will be tested and validated at the facilities of RISE.
The project work has also pioneered the capability to infuse thick laminates up to six metres in height. Furthermore, performing the assembly at DSNS’ location has demonstrated the possibility to undertake composite construction at a steel yard.
Other demonstrators in the RAMSSES project include innovative components and modular lightweight systems, maritime equipment, the application of high performance steels in load carrying hull structures, the integration of composite materials in various structures, as well as solutions for global repair.