24 March 2015
24 March 2015
Aquarius Fibreglas has developed a fully infused boat hull, claiming it is the first of its kind in India.
Featuring a DIAB sandwich core, the vessel is a 15.65 metre Fast Interceptor Boat. Composites Consulting Group (CCG), an independent DIAB Group company, says it offered Aquarius a full first onsite build to ensure the full value of composite design was realised.
According to DIAB, Aquarius prefers to build its boats in advanced composites. Aquarius started out by working in partnership with well-established naval architects outside of India. However, it didn’t take long before this ambitious shipyard moved on to making its own designs and constructions.
Ratkanar Dandekar, Managing Director at Aquarius, was well aware of the resin infusion process and its benefits for advanced marine composite builds. In order to introduce resin infusion to his shipyard, he contacted the Composites Consulting Group (CCG), who he knew had extensive experience in this field. After some initial discussions with Rimzath Ali, Composite Engineer at CCG, Aquarius decided to try the process of vacuum infusion when building an 8 metre cruise boat. Dandekar was hoping that this would prove that boats built with vacuum infusion technology could be a reality in India.
In the third quarter of 2014, Aquarius explains that its shipyard won a contract to design and build a series of 50 foot (15.65 m) fast interceptor boats with top speeds of 35 knots and meeting DNV GL standards. The boats would be built in India and delivered overseas for coastal patrol and interception work.
Again, Aquarius contacted CCG for help with designing the structural engineering of the vessel in order to meet the GL required classification. This was a key area as CCG also had the knowledge of how to engineer the vessel so the infusion process would be guaranteed to work on site.
CCG explains that the core materials were delivered in early January 2015 and the building process itself started on January 23. Over a period of two weeks the staff at Aquarius, under the guidance of CCG, set up and successfully infused the hull, followed by the deck and bulkheads. The new construction technique meant that no plywood was used in the building process. All areas requiring bolting or fixings used high-density DIAB core instead. The core is about half the weight of plywood but offers the same or better compressive strength and has great screw retention qualities.
“This was a difficult first build, as the entire hull was infused in one piece,” said Todd Henry, Asia Region Manager at CCG. “The staff was extremely careful with the accuracy of the core fitting and the placement and overlapping of the fibres, ensuring the structural design was carried out exactly as the plan dictated. This is never easy and yet I went away very satisfied with the task completed and knowing Aquarius is ready to continue on its own.”
Aquarius Fibreglas is now preparing to build the remaining 10 boats and CCG will continue to offer support when and where needed. CCG’s Ali commented, “We hope that the efforts taken here by Aquarius will encourage others in the marine market in India to follow the example to advance the marine sector in this region and show that we can build as good a product as anyone else.”
Photo provided by DIAB.
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