GH Craft Ltd, the Teijin Group’s composite structure design development and evaluation unit, has been taking part in the Wind Challenger Project, an industry-university joint research project, since October 2009.

The project, jointly launched in October 2009 by the University of Tokyo and leading Japanese shipping companies, is promoting the development of rigid but retractable sails that will harness windpower to enable cargo ships to reduce their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The sails envisioned for actual use are expected to measure 50 m by 20 m, or 1,000 m2 in area.

GH Craft is designing and producing such sails for ships currently under development for the Wind Challenger Project. The company provided small-scale sails measuring 20 m by 8 m for on-land testing in Nagasaki, Japan beginning in January 2014. The small-scale sails are made of a foamed core material sandwiched between glass fiber reinforced plastics. The test vessel will have five 15 mhigh retractable sails.

This story is reprinted from material from The Teijin Group, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.