Fibreship project

Tuco Marine Group participates in the FIBRESHIP innovation project funded by the European Horizon2020-programme and we hereby demonstrate our continued commitment to promoting the commercial, economic and environmental advantages of lightweight composite materials.

The FIBRESHIP project represents the joint effort of 18 partners from 11 EU countries and aims at building commercial ships above 50 meters using mainly fibre reinforced polymers (FRP). In the industry for ships under 50 meters, the qualities and advantages of FRPs are recognized and extensively adopted, and at present, steel has largely been superseded by FRPs in this sector.

The use of these materials for ships over 50 meters in length is currently limited to secondary structures and components, although the list of benefits of applying FRPs to primary structures is comprehensive. The structural weight of vessels is expected to be reduced by 30 percent and this carries with it significant fuel savings, reduced CO2 and NOx-emissions, increased cargo capacity and reduced operating costs. The physical properties of FRPs contribute to further advantages such as reduced maintenance costs, improved recycling ratio, no corrosion, better life cycle performance, greater stability and more.

FIBRESHIP distinguishes itself as the first initiative to thoroughly corroborate and demonstrate the advantages of introducing FRP in the construction of larger vessels. The project seeks to address the legislative limitations and to close the technology and knowledge gaps by developing, evaluating, and auditing innovative FRPs for maritime applications, preparing new guidelines for design and production processes, advancing efficient production and inspection methods, and adopting state-of-the-art and empirically validated software analysis tools (i.e. proving feasibility).

Tuco’s role in the project is to deliver knowledge about composites and to produce moulds and tooling for manufacturing large composite parts. Drawing on our successful experiences with carbon fibre construction and modular production, Tuco’s contribution is aimed at studying, developing and qualifying ideal building strategies and techniques. Tuco will also contribute to developing new guidance notes in close cooperation with classification societies and investigate operational life cycles, methods of dismantling and ways of handling waste generated during manufacturing.

Participation in the Fibreship project is a welcome occasion for Tuco to establish new collaborations, which can open new market opportunities. The success of the project would potentially increase the range of applications for composite materials in the shipbuilding industry and strengthen innovation and growth in the global sector. It would also answer to the global challenge of uniting financial growth with the demand for environmental sustainability.

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