Marine composite repair technology research demonstrates success
EU-funded COMPA Repairs glass and carbon fiber composite patch technology promises durable, fast, cost-effective ship repair.
A tank bulkhead after repair with glass and carbon fiber reinforcement. Source | Compa
Ship design and engineering company Alveus D.O.O. (Rijeka, Croatia) reports that its EU-funded COMPA Repairs marine composites patch technology has been successfully applied to about 20 applications, including ballast piping and tanks, sewage and HFO tanks, thermal oil piping, valves, flanges, decks and bulkheads.
One of the latest repairs with this technology was performed on a damaged tank bulkhead in Antwerp, Belgium. The COMPA Repairs team was asked to assess the damage and recommend a suitable, cost-efficient repair solution to prevent fuel leakage that appeared between water ballast and heavy fuel tanks.
Prior to the repair process, COMPA engineers and composite specialists investigated the damage parameters and then devised the repair plan using its eCOMPA software.
Repair process on the ship starts with damage inspection, followed by surface preparation consisting of mechanical and chemical treatments to ensure good bonding between the steel surface and the core of the COMPA technology, a glass and carbon fiber composite patch.
The carbon and glass fibers are cut to exact measures, and the epoxy resin is carefully mixed. Multiple layers of glass and carbon fiber reinforcements are laminated with the epoxy resin onto the prepared repair surface. The cured resin permanently bonds the fibers to the plating, creating a strong and fully solid composite patch.
According to Alveus, the repair of a damaged tank bulkhead was completed in record time without any setbacks. Following the repair, the tank was quickly brought back into the service.
Demonstrations on ships in service are a part of the project “COMPA 2GO - Composite Repairs for Ships: Service Demonstration, Certification and Market Entry.” The project is financed under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 program.
COMPA Repairs was selected for funding for the potential benefits it can bring to the maritime sector as a fast, cost-efficient and durable repair technology. COMPA composite patches eliminate the need for flames in ship repairs, and are able to provide repair options for geometrically complex structures and difficult-to-reach locations.
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