Composite for ship repairs

Ruptures, tears, cracks, holes, gashes, scrapes, and dents cause serious damage to hulls resulting in approximately $12bn worth of damage globally.[1] Due to their versatile adaptability, composite materials are increasingly being used as a cost-effective alternative to repair and strengthen boats, yachts, offshore platforms, and pipelines.[2,3,4,5]

Composites are composed of two or more elements, that when combined, produce a new material with different characteristics.[6] Composites offer a higher strength-to-weight ratio than traditional wood or steel, they are non-heat conductive and highly resistant to corrosion and fire.[2,7,8,9]

The ability to apply composites to hulls for below the surface will eliminate the costs associated with dry-docking, or docking at all. Ongoing challenges to this solution include the low costs of steel.[10,11]

When will it become an accepted practice that composite materials for large-vessel hull repairs are applied underwater?

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References:
[1] Shipbuilding News, (2018), India: Why ship repair yards lag global peers, Hellenic Shipping news worldwide
[2] Johnson, T., (2018), A List of Composite Materials In Boats, ThoughtCo.
[3] Marsh, G. (2010). Marine composites—drawbacks and successes. Reinforced Plastics, 54(4), 18-22.
[4] ETSols, 2018, Composite Repair of Offshore Structures, Compositesuk
[5] Shiprepair & Maintenance, (Apr/2018),Composite repair of ship pipes & structures, Rina
[6] Damen Magazine, (2017), COMPOSITE SHIPS FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF SHIP OWNERS, Magzine.Damen
[7] Thomas, G., (2019), Heat Insulation and Fire Resistance using Composite Materials, twi-global.com
[8] Brow, L. (2018), Fire-Resistant composite materia, EURAILmag Business & Technology
[9] Van Dine, P. (2008). U.S. Patent No. 7,323,509. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
[10] Gardiner, G.,(2018), Withstanding fire without the weight, Compositesworld
[11] Håkansson, M., Johnson, E., & Ringsberg, J. W. (2018). Cost and weight of composite ship structures: A parametric study based on Det Norske Veritas rules.

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By Matthew J. Spaniol