Naval Group has announced that the company has conducted a successful demonstration of a carbon composite embedded with fibre optics, developed by engineers at the ARC Training Centre for Automated Manufacture of Advanced Composites (AMAC) at UNSW.
By including composites in the structure of a marine vessel, the weight of masts, and the overall vessel, can be reduced. In addition, by embedding fibre optics, structural health monitoring can be conducted which cuts maintenance time and the resources required for a vessel.
Participating in the five-day trial was Airspeed Pty Ltd, an Australian manufacturer of composites for aerospace, maritime, and energy projects. The trial ensured that the material can provide information on the performance of a material while under mechanical loads.
“Composites are a key capability for modern shipbuilding, and it has been mutually beneficial to work with UNSW. We are already looking into furthering our cooperation and including industrial partners in our research,” said François Romanet, Naval Group Pacific CEO.
According to Serge Kamkin, naval architect with Airspeed, the successful test demonstrates the wide applicability of the materials.
“Composites have broad application potential across the entire marine industry, and seeing this new application opens a whole new world of possibilities,” he said.