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RAMSSES and FIBRESHIP joint approach to IMO: Towards Safety of Composite Ships

The coordinators of the European R & D projects, presented at the IMO headquarters in London (United Kingdom) their joint approach on their results and conclusions aimed at increasing the safety of boats made of composite materials

In both projects, with more than 12 European countries involved, similar goals are share as the use of Fibre - Reinforced Polymers (FRP) in the Shipping and Shipbuilding industry. Despite both Projects have different approach, these seek to address different methods to technical challenges in terms of fire safety and structural behavior.Both European R&D projects, RAMSSES and FIBRESHIP, share similar goals on the using of FRP (Fibre-Reinforced Polymers) in the Shipping and Shipbuilding industry but with different approaches to face the technical challenges in terms of fire safety and structural performance.
The presentation was possible thanks to the actions of the Dutch delegation at IMO, proposing a lunch-presentation of the 2 projects participated by more than 12 European countries. This lunch-presentation was introduced and moderated by Arnold De Brujin (NMT - Netherlands Maritime Technology) on behalf of the Dutch delegation.

At the beginning of the presentation, the general outline was stated by Stephane Paboeuf from Bureau Veritas, and both motivations and the current regulatory framework were described as well as the different approach developed for each project in terms of the time line.

Secondly, the FIBRESHIP project was described by Alfonso Jurado (FIBRESHIP coordinator, from TSI – TÉCNICAS Y SERVICIOS DE INGENIERÍA), defining its main particulars and goals to enable the designing, construction and operation of large-length vessels over 500 GT fully in composites. Furthermore, the potential benefits of the use of these materials was presented as well as the main outcomes of FIBRESHIP, such as the structural designing of three vessel, the development of structural and fire performance criteria as the basis of future standards, the current market readiness of some vessels segments according to smooth scale increasing and the most significant result of the project: the FIBRESHIP demonstrator (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO9S1uSPehg), consisting of a ship block of a 85m length fishing research vessel fully in composites.

Subsequently, the RAMSSES project was described by Matthias Krause (RAMSSES coordinator, from CMT - CENTER OF MARITIME TECHNOLOGIES) defining their motivations and goals regarding the demonstration of advance material solutions for sustainable and efficient ships, being a short-term approach based on existing rules and technology to include new lightweight materials in vessels. All the demo cases of RAMSSES were identified and it was explained the Smart Track to Approval, a strategy to obtain the certification considering stakeholders actions and several factors (technical, standards, methodologies, validations, etc.). The standard fire risk scenario developed in RAMSSES was described, specifying its accordance with FTP Code; as well as the innovation platform used for gather all the data regarding the use of FRP in the shipbuilding sector.

Last but not least, the general findings were explained stating the advantages of composites, the feasibility to build larger vessels in composites and the development of a new approach for fire division rating and a fire global approach to assess the fire risk.

This dissemination action was carried out with the objective of engaging IMO members to schedule the evaluation of MSC Circ. 1574 and potential use of composites in next IMO SDC sessions. Considering the fact that it will be a long path to set a new regulatory framework, nevertheless, we hope that the interest of the marine stakeholders as well as the results, innovations, developments and conclusions from RAMSSES, FIBRESHIP and other projects focused on the FRP for large-length vessels can be useful for the process and the IMO Member States.

If you are interested in FIBRESHIP and want to know more about its results, do not miss the 3rd Public Workshop to be held at NAVALIA 2020 in Vigo, on May 21, 2020. In this event, the different results obtained will be explained and analyzed how these results can be used in the shipbuilding sector. It will have the participation of the project advisory board (Advisory Board formed by shipyards, shipowners, companies in the naval sector and the compound sector, universities and research centers) and the partners participating in the consortium: TSI, COMPASS, and ATEKNEA ( engineering consulting); iXblue, TUCO and NAVROM (shipyards); CIMNE, VTT, TWI, University of Limerick and SOERMAR (research and technology centers); ANEK Lines, Danaos, Foinikas, IEO (shipowners); and BV, LR, and RINA (Classification Societies).

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