This project aims to deliver a validated and commercial method of fibre reinforced polymer jointing and construction for application in the marine energy and aquaculture sectors

Project Insights

  • €234,597

    Total Project Costs
  • 2 yr

    Project Duration
  • 2018

    Year Funded

Project Description

The use of composite materials in marine applications has normally been reserved for high value pleasure craft using moulded construction. There is an opportunity to adapt the use of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) prefabricated components into low cost marine structures suitable for mass production. Preliminary studies have shown that there is potential for significant savings in construction costs as well as ease of construction method. What is required are robust engineering solutions for the jointing and fabrication for the complete structures made from the components which can then be utilised in energetic marine environments. Jointing of FRP materials is at a reasonable level of development but the performance in the marine environments is still relatively unknown. In this project, the basic structural design for joint configurations will build on preliminary work undertaken by Ocean Energy in a previous project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Using existing expertise, the specific research undertaken will be 1) initial joint and adhesive characterisation, 2) Laboratory testing of the selected joint and adhesive samples. In parallel with this process, suitable coating materials specifically designed for FRP material in the marine sector will be evaluated and field tested to develop the optimum combination for dynamic marine applications. The final technical phase will be to produce preliminary structural designs of the validated joints to be incorporated into scaled field deployments – these designs will be evaluated for manufacturability and finally an economic assessment of the application of FRP construction for the marine energy sector and the aquaculture market will be completed (i.e. feed barges and other support infrastructure). Building on existing knowledge, this project will deliver a validated and commercial method of FRP jointing and construction for application in the marine energy and aquaculture sectors – thus giving these sectors a competitive and sustainable advantage.

Project Details

Total Project Cost: €234,597

Funding Agency: Marine Institute

Year Funded: 2018

Lead Organisation: Ocean Energy Ltd

Partner Organisation(s): National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)

John McCarthy

Lead Researcher