Better structures with proper composites

Composites are blends of different materials, engineered to retain and take advantage of the constituent materials’ properties; the potential for material combinations is endless. The ancient Egyptians were probably the first to use composites, reinforcing soil with rush stalks to build stronger houses 6,000 years ago.

Illustrative photo: Shutterstock Composite materials serve to increase the strength of pipes. (Illustrative photo: Shutterstock)

Strength, weight and lifetime

Today’s composites are often highly advanced materials, prized for their combinations of strength, light weight and long lifetime.

One good example is the mix of fibreglass, which is stiff and strong, with thermoset plastics, which are malleable. Together these two materials make it possible to produce products in complex geometric shapes.

Hydrolift The Norwegian leisure boat industry makes extensive use of composite materials. (Photo: Hydrolift AS) When producing composites, it is essential to properly dimension the various materials. This was the focus of the project “Safe, cost-effective basis for dimensioning and qualifying composite structures”, which received funding under the Research Council’s programme for User-driven Research-based Innovation (BIA).

The project has resulted in a database for use of standard materials in the composites industry.

Reliable data boosts competitiveness

“Using a comprehensive testing programme we have assessed the stretching, bending and compression characteristics of the various materials, to find out how much they can withstand,” explains project manager Reidar Stokke of SINTEF Materials and Chemistry.

“New, effective testing methods have enabled us to generate reliable data and a methodology for calculating the properties of any reinforcement framework to be used in real-life structures.”

The project results will help an industry comprised of many small players with limited engineering expertise in dimensioning materials to work out how to use various materials properly. The results will also facilitate more rapid and cost-effective development of new products, which in turn will enhance the competitiveness of Norwegian-produced composites, and the country’s composites industry in general.

Photo: Brick This foot bridge in Fredrikstad is a structure that combines concrete with modern composite materials. (Photo: Brick)

Better documentation means improved safety

The project also serves to promote greater safety and reliability in the use of composite materials.

Ever more stringent requirements are being set for documenting materials data. Thanks to the project, companies that use composites will now have a better foundation for documenting the quality of their products. This is vital when composites are used to construct lifeboats and petroleum installations, for example.

Project facts

Title: “Sikkert og kostnadseffektivt grunnlag for dimensjonering og kvalifisering av komposittstrukturer” (Safe, cost-effective basis for dimensioning and qualifying composite structures)

Project period: 1 September 2006–1 January 2011

Partners: SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, FiReCo AS, Reichhold AS, Devold AMT AS, Umoe Mandal AS, Umoe Schat-Harding AS

Funding under the BIA programme: NOK 5.5 million

 

Norway’s composites industry

Norway’s composites industry consists of some 200 companies with a total of 2 500 employees. With an annual turnover of roughly NOK 2.5 billion, the industry occupies a relatively strong position on the international market.


Norwegian composites companies are particularly active in areas such as transport, equipment for the offshore industry, marine activities, construction, the defence industry, and equipment for sport and leisure.


 

 

Related news

Latest news

Jotne Subsea Gas Lift for Balder Field

In April 2015, Jotne E&P was awarded an EPC contract to build the subsea gas lift manifold for Exxon Mobil on the Balder Field.

Jotne Awarded Contract for Subsea Protection Structure

In January 2016, Jotne E&P was awarded a contract for the delivery of a subsea protection structure and GRP cover for a Xmas tree at Balder field. The contract was awarded by Ocean Installer.

UiB and CMR in high-tech collaboration

Students from UiB last month joined an experiment with an ultra-high-speed camera. This was a part of the troubleshooting of the Field Kelvin Probe currently under development.

Hatteland Display at International Workboat Show 2016

Hatteland Display are highlighting its diverse portfolio of maritime displays and panel computers on its booth (#1658) at the International Workboat Show 2016 (IWBS 2016) this week.

Servogear Announces Upcoming Events

Servogear announces a busy end of November, beginning of December. They will be participating at important international exhibitions.

Teamtec and ANDRITZ Cooperation

ANDRITZ and TeamTec have signed a cooperation agreement for worldwide marketing of the SeaSOx exhaust gas cleaning system for the maritime industry. 

Export Credit Norway looking for Norway's Best Exporter

Export Credit Norway  has now opened the nomination process for the 2017 Export Award, searching the Norwegian exporter of the year. 

Global Economic Outlook

7 December, Oslo Chamber of Commerce invites to a session with insightful updates on the Norwegian and international economy.

Rebuilding for Hydrogen

M/Y “Che Guevara”, previously owned by Gaddafi, will be converted to run on hydrogen. Greenstat will lead the project and are seeking partners.