Demand for lightweight materials and lightweight design in the shipbuilding is driven by two major problems of the modern age those are energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. A lighter vessel will use less fuel and a semi-submersible offshore platform can only fully attain an optimized weight distribution through proper lightweight design.
It is difficult to imagine a lightweight offshore wind turbine deprived of lightweight design and lightweight materials. However, for a lot of solutions, the increased use of innovative technologies is being slowed down by tradition and conservative resistance to change, coupled to a lack of expertise and best practice.
E-LASS aims at facilitating activities in support of necessary development of lightweight design.
The EU-funded project RAMSSES that is Realisation and Demonstration of Advanced Material Solutions for Sustainable and Efficient Ships is one such initiative.
The RAMSSES project aims to develop, showcase, and standardize 13 products designed for maritime applications. Funded by €13,5 million, this four year project got involved 36 organizations and companies from 12 countries. Another EU project related to the research and implementation of composites in the shipbuilding industry, FIBRESHIP, was announced last summer.