Composite Materials for Marine Applications: Key Challenges for the Future

  • R. A. Shenoi
  • J. M. Dulieu-Barton
  • S. Quinn
  • J. I. R. Blake
  • S. W. Boyd
Conference paper


This chapter presents the key challenges for the future use of composite materials for marine applications. Five technical challenges have been identified: load transfer mechanisms, safety, life cycle assessment, concurrent engineering and structural health monitoring. These are discussed in the following sections of the chapter. The mechanical behaviour of layered orthotropic structures is considered for both adhesively bonded and hybrid joints, and the strength, fatigue, failure prediction, ageing and optimisation of the connections are described. The safety section discusses the challenge of managing variability and uncertainty when constructing bespoke marine craft, where extensive testing and prototyping are not possible, considering fabrication, strength and through-life behaviour. In the life cycle assessment section, environmental impact is considered using an embodied energy approach. Concurrent engineering approaches that incorporate both the design and production functions in a non-sequential manner are particularly important in the marine industry. A future requirement in this field will be the ability to incorporate design history in optimised design solutions. The structural health monitoring section focuses on state-of-the-art inspection techniques such as vibration-based damage identification approaches and other data-rich experimental mechanics techniques for use in repair intervention strategies. The chapter concludes with comments on the future use of polymeric composite materials for structural marine applications.


Life Cycle Assessment Fibre Reinforce Polymer Structural Health Monitoring Butt Joint Concurrent Engineering 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are grateful to the following individuals and organisations for their financial support for this research and/or their collaboration:

Aalborg University, particularly Professor Ole Thomsen

AWE, particularly Mr Paul Tatum

British Marine Federation, particularly Mr Nik Parker and Mr Adrian Waddams

Dstl, particularly Professor. Alan Groves

European project EUCLID RTP3.21

Fiberline AS


Flemmings industrial fabrics

Lloyds Register Education Trust, particularly Mr Vaughan Pomeroy and Mr Michael Franklin

MOD, particularly Professor Jagath Mawella, Mr Bill Gass and Dr. Chris Cole

National Composites Network


QinetiQ through the MAST program

RNLI, particularly Mr David Brook, Mr Steve Austen and Dr. Holly Phillips

Streamline Waterjet Cutting

Strongwell (USA)

UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

UK Technology Strategy Board

University of Sheffield, particularly Professor Keith Worden



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Shenoi
    • 1
  • J. M. Dulieu-Barton
    • 1
  • S. Quinn
    • 1
  • J. I. R. Blake
    • 1
  • S. W. Boyd
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Engineering SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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