Effective use of composite marine structures: reducing weight and acquisition cost
Book chapter, 2018

Composite structures are a way to reduce the operational costs of a vessel or to increase its potential revenue. However, depending on the design of the vessel, its operational profile, and the business model of the owner, the benefits brought by a composite structure may not justify its acquisition cost. This paper presents a number of investigations aimed at reducing the acquisition cost of marine composite structures and maximizing their benefits through a more effective use of composite materials (in other words, weight reduction of the composite structure). The investigations cover three areas of opportunity for doing so: material safety factors, material characterization, and numerical optimization of large composite structures. The following conclusions are drawn from the investigations: motivating a reduction of material safety factors through probabilistic analyses is unpractical at best, and questionable at worst; improving the material characterization of textile composites is easy, relatively costless, and can modestly reduce structural weight through better material property values; numerical optimization of large composite structures is cumbersome, but feasible, and holds the greatest potential increasing the economical attractiveness of composite marine structures.



Weight optimization

Marine Structures






Luis Felipe Sanchez Heres

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Marine Technology

Jonas Ringsberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Marine Technology

Erland Johnson

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Marine Technology

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Marine Composites - Design and Performance


Experimental testing of the ultimate strength capacity and failure of a sandwich beam structure

Applied Mechanics, 2012-01-01 -- 2012-12-31.

Chalmers Area of Advance Transport – funding 2015

Chalmers, 2015-01-01 -- 2015-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance



Materials Science

Subject Categories

Aerospace Engineering

Other Materials Engineering

Composite Science and Engineering


Basic sciences


C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)

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