HSVA goes new green ways in model manufacture and investigates ship safety in EU-project FLARE

The construction of the model of a damaged RoPaX ship for the EU research project FLARE (Flooding Accident Response) has started in HSVA.

Thin walled ship shell for ship damage stability tests.

The thin walled ship shell needed for damage stability studies, in which some internal compartments will be flooded, is manufactured of a new sustainable Natural Fiber Composite (NFC) instead of the classical Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP/GFK) often used in such models. The new material is more environ-mentally friendly in its production and disposal than classical GFRP, and is based on the use of natural fibers as reinforcement instead of the relatively heavy glass or expensive carbon. Also the ready-made ship shell is easier to cut and more pleasant to work with during the outfitting of the model in this case with the damage openings on the hull.

Raking damage at the bilge.


In the first phase of the coming model tests roll damping coefficients of damaged ships will be determined for use in numerical simulations of ship survival in seaways. Two damage shapes in different sizes will be tested: A raking damage at the ship bilge due to accidental contact with a rock, like the one that sank the MV Costa Concordia, and a typical collision damage at the ship side as a result of a perpendicular collision too often seen in busy fairways having frequent crossing ferry traffic.

Collision damage at ship side.


Collision damage penetration at ship interior.


Further benchmark tests will follow. The 3D- printed parts of the model will be changed with relative ease to other ones as required by the test plan.

The use of sustainable raw materials, traditional wood, polylactic acid (PLA) made of corn starch and used in 3D-printing, bio-based epoxy resin and flax fiber in NFC models, allows the HSVA to manufacture composite models almost solely of sustainable materials, thus also reducing the carbon footprint about 70 per cent in comparison with a corresponding GFRP model.