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The AEWC have received two new federal grants totalling $2.36 million from the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) to focus on redesigning the high-speed Mark V Patrol Craft and the reliability of fibre-reinforced composite ship components.
Engineers in the University of Maine’s Advanced Engineered Wood Composites (AEWC) Centre will be working with the U.S. Navy and Maine businesses to improve ship building technologies.
Researchers will focus on improving the Mark V’s seaworthiness. “The Mark V has developed a reputation for a very rough ride. It affects the performance of the SEAL teams and boat crews,” says Robert Lindyberg, manager of technical services for AEWC. Working with Hodgdon Yachts of East Boothbay, Maine, Lindyberg and other UMaine engineers will design and build a prototype that meets the Navy’s needs with improved handling characteristics.
In the second project, engineers will study composite material manufacturing processes. Navy tests have revealed significant differences among similar composites produced by different manufacturers. The research goal is to determine why such differences occur and how manufacturers can consistently produce reliable materials for ship construction, says Habib Dagher, AEWC director.
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