Discover the latest JEC Composites Magazine focused on the Marine industry

This issue is featuring how composites can help sailing for more performance and sustainability, setting sail in outer space or a lighter and cleaner winch for low-emission superyachts and much more.

Discover the latest JEC Composites Magazine focused on the Marine industry

1 minute, 50 secondes

The marine industry: balancing economic and environmental costs

After garnering an impressive revenue of USD 5 billion in 2022, the global marine composites market should hit a new record high of USD 6 billion in 2033 and experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ap­proximately 6% during 2023-2033, according to a recent market report by Research Nester. Increase in the number of ships built and technical improvements in composite technol­ogies are expected to be the two main factors driving the industry’s develop­ment. Wind-assisted ship propulsion (WASP), for instance, has prompted a new demand for composite materials. For WASP and other marine applica­tions, Hexcel has developed its G-Vent technology, which is a “microscopical­ly thin layer of material that can be in­tegrated within the company’s marine prepregs and which acts as a network of pathways to let the material vent”, resulting in reduced manufacturing time and cost, as explained in this issue’s special Marine feature. In the yachting industry, the need for more efficiency and higher performance is increasingly challenging designers, suppliers and manufacturers to push lightweighting beyond its current lim­its. The new carbon fibre winch series developed by Rondal and engineered by Solico boasts an impressive weight reduction of 22%.

As performance requirements are growing, so are sustainability expecta­tions. Grand Largue Composites and Sicomin combined their strengths to build Aurélien Ducroz’s Cross­call, the first flax fibre Class40 racing yacht. Crosscall is one of the boats participating to the 2022 edition of the Route du Rhum race across the Atlantic Ocean. Natural fibre-based composites are becoming increasing­ly popular in the nautical sector. Flax, for example, is a very low-density fi­bre with a high specific stiffness which can be used to manufacture compos­ite laminates with mechanical prop­erties not dissimilar to typical E-glass composites.

Over the years, composite produc­tion processes have become more sustainable thanks to the adoption of new technologies and materials such as biobased resins. Yet, achieving zero waste and full cradle to cradle recyclability remains a tough nut to crack. Renewed efforts are needed to improve disposal of composite boats and moulds at the end of the life cycle and avoid landfilling. At the European level, the European boating industry (EBI) and the European Commission Directorate-General for Maritime Af­fairs (DG MARE) jointly lead a work­ing group on end-of-life boats. The aim of the collaboration is to develop a roadmap that EU countries can fol­low to set up their own dismantling systems.

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