Poly Glass reports manufacture of 60-foot infused monohull boat in India
The ZenCat commercial vessel features a 60-foot vacuum-infused FRP hull enabling weight reduction and fuel savings.
Photo Credit: Poly Glass
Poly Glass Fibre Industries Pvt Ltd. (Faridabad, India) recently announced that it has manufactured one of the largest fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP), vacuum-infused monohull boats yet manufactured in India. The ZenCat features a 60-foot hull built at Poly Glass’ 2,400-square-meter facility (Note: after initial publication of this article, Raads Marine (Puducherry, India) reached out to CW claiming it has previously built a 60-foot by 18-foot infused monohull fishing vessel at its facility in 2019. Find more about Raads Marine at raadsmarine.com.).
Poly Glass says it spent almost a year on research and development of the vessel, involving several national and international partners. According to R. Bawa, managing director of Poly Glass, the composite hull design enabled a reduction in structural weight by almost half compared to previous materials.
This weight reduction enabled Poly Glass to reduce power requirements and fuel needed to power the commercial vessel’s two outboard motors by half, while meeting speed requirements. The boat also supports a 4.5-meter beam to provide enough space for the crew and any cargo.
The resin system used to manufacture the boat was designed in-house specifically for use with vacuum infusion, and considerations were made for Faridabad’s hot climate and the time requirements for infusing such a large structure. For this vessel, the infusion process was completed in eight hours from start to finish. The company reports six orders booked for the new boat design so far.
This is the Poly Glass’ first foray into the commercial marine market, having built prefabricated FRP shelters, ballistic vests and helmets, military boats, specialized floating structures, milk and chemical storage tanks and custom solutions primarily for the defense industry for the past 40 years. At its facility, the company is also able to manufacture boats up to 13 meters by hand layup, as well as smaller vacuum infused boats.
Dale Brosius, the chief commercialization officer for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and a regular CW columnist, sees a shift in the industry from infighting between proponents of thermoset and thermoplastic composites to a healthier competitive atmosphere that serves to make composites overall more competitive with legacy materials.
There are numerous methods for fabricating composite components. Selection of a method for a particular part, therefore, will depend on the materials, the part design and end-use or application. Here's a guide to selection.
Digitally designed and cut, preformed and preinfused stringers and bulkheads reduce boat weight, labor and cycle time and improve boatbuilder process control.