French testing company Groupe Institut de Soudure and Composite Integrity, its 50% subsidiary along with PPE (Saint-Avold, France), an international technology transfer center specialized in composite materials, have carried out non-destructive testing on the composites of IMOCA. The IMOCA is the new Open 60 monohull to be piloted by Arnaud Boissières, skipper and holder of the SNSM record. The aim of this testing from partners of Le Bateau des Métiers by Aerocampus is to check the condition of the materials in order to ensure human safety and the integrity of the structures of the composite parts on-board the monohull.
For three days, a team of experienced controllers from Groupe Institut de Soudure and Composite Integrity concentrated on the mast, the rudders and the boom, as well as on the reinforcing elements in the inner hull. "We take advantage of the experience and the presence of our two partners in Sables d‘Olonne to really push the checks to their limits, on other elements subjected to extreme stresses,” said Arnaud Boissières.
After removing the mast and transporting it to the workshop, the mast, which is 27 meters long, was examined at 700 different points. The boom and the rudders were also inspected. "The boat undergoes an ultrasonic scan to ensure there is no pre-damage,” said Jérôme Raynal, sales director of Composite Integrity. Tap tests were also carried out to detect any faults in the glued assemblies. The company says that the IMOCA underwent non-destructive testing in optimal conditions using cutting-edge techniques, which are notably used for aircraft.
Arnaud Boissières and his co-skipper Stanislas Maslard will be taking to the seas on-board IMOCA on Oct. 25th for the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre. "We are very proud to be partners of Le Bateau des Métiers by Aerocampus, and we are convinced that the quality of the materials from which it is made will allow Arnaud Boissières and Stanislas Maslard to sail a great race in 2015, as well as the next Vendée Globe in November 2016,” said Abdelkrim Chehaibou, research director of the group and chairman of Composite Integrity.