Décision delivers first SeaBubble prototype

Décision, part of the Carboman group and a specialist in the development and prototyping of complex composite solutions, has completed the first of 5 SeaBubble water taxi prototypes that was launched last week on the River Seine in Paris.

Décision began working on the prototype in February 2017 and in record time (just 4 months) has completed the final production design, the composite structure, and the final assembly of the first SeaBubble for its initial test run in Paris last week.

The SeaBubbles project is the vision of pioneering hydrofoiling yachtsman Alain Thébault and champion windsurfer Anders Bringal who imagined a revolutionary and green urban transportation network that uses the waterways of our major cities.

Passengers will ride in composite SeaBubble water taxi’s that fly silently above the water surface powered by a clean charging electric drive system. The project has already secured impressive funding as one of the fastest growing start-ups in France, and plans to operate in 50 major cities within the next 5 years.

Rapidly developing design concepts for cost-effective production
Décision has a long history of delivering quality and performance in their composite creations but with this project it was particularly important to focus on the future and not just the initial prototypes. To match the ambitious growth plans of the SeaBubbles project it was vital to consider a robust and cost-effective serial production route from the beginnings of the project.    

Working alongside the SeaBubble team, Décision analyzed the initial design and delivered a production ready tooling and composite manufacturing process – as well as completing the assembly of the first prototype to a very tight deadline for its launch at the Viva Technology exhibition in Paris.

In addition to satisfying the composite engineering targets for weight and stiffness, the SeaBubble manufacturing process was also required to include a significant percentage of bio-based materials. Again, Décision made the perfect development partner with their experience of using a wide range of bio-based epoxy resins, natural fibres and core materials. The SeaBubble’s composite parts are produced using a vacuum infusion process where the sandwich structure, comprising reinforcement fibres and a natural cork core, are infused with a low viscosity epoxy resin with a high bio-based carbon content. 

Décision is now well on target to complete the remaining prototype SeaBubbles, with the next 4 units all due to be delivered before the end of September 2017. Following on from the success of this first phase of the project, Décision is expecting to work with SeaBubbles on their latest concept, a larger 15-seater vessel prototype, that is also planned for delivery this year.

“Décision is immensely proud to be chosen as an exclusive supplier to the SeaBubbles team and to showcase its prototyping and development expertise in such a high profile and unique application. Having seen the project through from the very start to the completion of a working composite SeaBubble that ‘flew’ on the Seine last week, I am confident that flying water taxi’s will very soon be an every day reality” comments Grégoire Metz, CEO, Décision SA. 

Companies: Groupe CARBOMAN S.A

Countries: France

Industries: Marine Transportation and Shipbuilding, Other Composite End-use areas

Technologies: Infusion

Terms: Applications, Business

This article has been edited by Basalt.Today
This article has been written on JEC Composites Magazine
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