Enabling Qualification of Hybrid Structures for Lightweight and Safe Maritime Transport | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Enabling Qualification of Hybrid Structures for Lightweight and Safe Maritime Transport

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Technological Innovation

Lead partner

Stichting Materials Innovation Institute (M2i)

Start Date


End Date


Project budget

3 781 577

ERDF amount

2 268 946

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    The drivers to reduce weight in traditionally heavy loaded structures such as ships demands the development of durable, lightweight solutions that can withstand such loads under extreme conditions. The combination of steels and composites in adhesively bonded structures can reduce weight while preserving strength, leading to lighter and stronger ships. 10% weight reduction triggers a reduction of up to 7% in fuel consumption. The potential savings, along to the manufacturing advantages, have motivated the shipbuilding industry to explore the use of adhesively bonded hybrid joints in primary structures, capable to withstand high loads and guaranteeing safety. Currently, no certification guidelines exist to orient the industry when certifying new designs using such hybrid assemblies, which limits their to secondary structures. QUALIFY will provide the necessary knowledge to remove these technological and regulatory barriers, enabling their use in primary structures in shipbuilding. 

    Main Achievements

    All outputs are expected at the end the project, and no deviations are foreseen.  The project is being well managed, and partners are actively contributing to the dissemination of the project results (publishing academic partners, participating at conferences and fairs, etc) and engaging with relevant stakeholders,

    In WP1 a test and simulation plan at different scales (pyramid) has been set up. Tests have been performed at different scales, which have allowed to identify the most suitable adhesive, and determine relevant mechanical properties of the joints, under fatigue and static conditions, aged and unaged.

    Some FE simulations have also been carried out to help to understand the failure mechanisms, design the tests (fixtures, dimensions) with load input from WP3. A micro-mechanics model is being developed.

    In WP2, several NDE techniques are being tried which will be correlated the mechanical and failure properties of the different materials involved.

    A risk-based approach is being designed to create the guidelines for the design an approval of adhesive hybrid joints. The reliability and repairability of different types of sensors is also being investigated.

    In WP3 the critical loads and locations of a ship under wave loading have been identified, which serves to design the experiments. A regulatory studied has been done of relevant standards in the marine and offshore industry (the latter in progress) .

    Cross border is enhanced by a having a well balance consortium and observers across different countries. For this purpose, meeting venues are being alternated among the different countries. Biweekly telcos are held to facilitate the collaboration and we are reaching to a wide network of stakeholders across all countries involved. Here the role of industrial partners and observers in the project is very important.



    Technische Universiteit Delft

    Cambridge University


    Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore SAS

    Universiteit Gent



    Lloyd's Register EMEA

    Stichting Kenniscentrum Windturbine Materialen en Constructies

    BAE Systems Naval Ships