Project budget3 781 577 €
ERDF amount2 268 946 €
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.
The project aims to remove the technological and regulatory barriers that currently prevent the widespread application of hybrid structures (metal/composite) in the industry. It will deliver the knowledge and the guidelines that the industry needs to pursue certification of adhesively bonded hybrid joints for primary structures in marine applications. The objectives we set to tackle this aim are:
- Objective 1: Evaluate the long term structural performance of the adhesively bonded hybrid joint under representative operational and environmental conditions;
- Objective 2: Develop a reliable inspection and maintenance methodology for adhesively bonded hybrid joints;
- Objective 3: Develop a procedure (Guidelines) for the qualification of adhesively bonded hybrid joints in primary structures in marine applications.
- Tests to assess the sensitivity to the environment of the adhesive material properties and the structural performance of the joint - at different scales;
- Tailored equipment to evaluate the performance of the hybrid joint under combined loading and environmental conditions;
- Accelerated tests type 1 = Rapid determination of basic fatigue properties for design purposes - at different scales;
- Accelerated tests type 2 = Testing of corrosion assisted fatigue to evaluate components in a representative environment and at different scales.
- Monitoring and inspection protocol;
- Structural health and condition monitoring tests;
- Guidelines for the qualification of adhesively bonded hybrid structures in primary structures for marine applications.
Cross border approach
The approach proposed requires a combination of capabilities and experiences not available within the national borders of individual participants. A blend of expertises is needed, which our consortium brings together: micromechanical modelling (Cambridge); characterisation and modelling of environmental effects on the operational lifetime of marine structures (TU Delft); accelerated testing methodology to reflect 20 years of operational life in one month of testing (UGent). These are state-of-the-art capabilities, complemented by access to unique testing infrastructure that is not available elsewhere in Europe (UGent, WMC). Our project also requires the commitment of industrial users with experience and intterest on hybrid structures (DAMEN, BAE Systems, Parkwind) and that of classification societies such as Lloyd's Register, Bureau Veritas, as well as management and dissemination capabilities (M2i and the observer partners network) to reach a wide industrial audience.
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.