Today, Fibre-Reinforced Polymers (FRP) materials are extensively used for building lightweight hull structures of vessels with length up to about 25 m. FRP are also used for even larger lengths (up to 50 m). In fact, most of the leisure craft and sailing yachts, naval ships, patrol and rescue vessels below 25 m length are built in FRP materials.
However, the production capacity in numbers of FRP ships does not achieve its full potential due to high total production costs. This limitation is due to the lack of automated procedures and the current semiartisanal methods used in FRP shipbuilding.
The main benefits of applying FRP in shipbuilding are:
Benefits for shipowners due to the overall weight reduction
Bunkering Consumption Reduction, increased cargo/passenger capacity, reduction of powering needs
Benefits for shipowners derived from the reduction of maintenance costs
FRP are corrosion immune and offer superior fatigue resistance which results in a life-cycle costs reduction
Environmental benefits during operation thanks to FRP application
Substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions due to lower power needs, better underwater acoustic signature, reduction of noise pollution at ship accommodation spaces