More environmentally friendly, cost efficient and safer ships are expected as a result of a major project involving leading European research institutions, shipbuilders, universities, shipping companies and classification societies.
They have joined forces in a new EU project, Materials On-board: Steel Advancements and Integrated Composites (Mosaic) which investigates two ideas in shipbuilding. The usage of special toughened High Strength Low Alloyed Steels in critical areas of the ship to resist cracking and the replacement of some parts of the ship structure (superstructures, transverse bulkheads, partial decks, etc) with Composite Materials (such as GRP) to reduce weight and corrosion.
Mosaic is a part of the European Commission’s co-funded FP7 initiative with a budget of 4mn Euros. The project, which will continue with its research and development until September, 2015, has 11 partners from six European countries and is led by the Italian research centre Cetena SpA. The UK partners are the University of Birmingham, the Welding Institute, and Lloyd‘s Register.
The partners said: “Today’s passenger and merchant vessels are extremely complex and often very large structures that have to survive very cruel conditions they regularly meet at sea. These ships are currently built using marine-grade steels that are exposed to the constant pressure of powerful waves and the highly corrosive marine environment.”