Cunard's MS Queen Victoria. Photo used with permission © Stella Job.
Cunard's MS Queen Victoria. Photo used with permission © Stella Job.

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With the use of fiber reinforced polymer set to rocket in the automotive industry, Stella Job asks whether the same is possible for ships.

Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites have been an accepted material in boatbuilding and motorsport for over 60 years. Com-posites make up more than half the structural airframes of modern commercial aircraft, such as the Airbus A350 XWB and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Their use is set to rocket in mainstream automo-tive as rapid manufacturing technologies are developed. FRP applications in construction and infrastructure are growing since early FRP bridges were installed twenty years ago. The weight reduction achievable with composites is enabling applications which would not be possible with metals, such as longer wind turbine blades and deeper risers for oil wells.

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