Engineering, production and life‐cycle management for the complete construction of large‐length FIBRE‐based SHIPs

The main objective of the FIBRESHIP project is to create a new EU-market to build complete large-length ships in FRP (Fibre-Reinforced Polymers) enabling its massive application. In order to achieve this objective, the project will develop, identify and qualify FRP materials for different applications in particular for long-term structural strength and fire resistance. In addition to this, its massive application also requires elaborating innovative design procedures and guidelines supported on new validated software analysis tools.

Standardized efficient production methodologies will be implemented and demonstrated by delivering a proof of concept. Clear performance indicators will be designed and applied in the evaluation of three targeted vessels categories (container ship, ferry and fishing research vessel) to be developed within the project.

The project will also analyze the life cycle cost benefits of incorporating FRP materials in large-length ships, developing a business plan for the different actors in the value chain. The business plan will cover the different phases of the life cycle from design, engineering, material production and shipbuilding to the final dismantling of the vessel.

The use of FRP materials in large-length ships will imply a significant weight reduction (about 30%) and a relevant impact in fuel saving, ship stability, environmental impact (reducing greenhouse gas emissions and underwater noise), and increase of cargo capacity. On the other hand, FRP materials are immune to corrosion and have a better performance under fatigue type loads, what means better life performance and reduced maintenance costs.

The mid-term impact is estimated in about 5% of the total shipbuilding market in Europe (turnover about €2.0Bn), and it is envisaged a long term impact of up to 54.000 new direct jobs. Furthermore, it is estimated that the European shipping companies could deduct up to €1Bn/year cost with the adoption of the proposed FRP shipbuilding technology.