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New Boat Utilizing Carbon Nanotube-Enhanced Prepreg

  • Thursday, 21st May 2009
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

Zyvex Performance Materials has unveiled a new boat to be built by Strategic Composites and made entirely with ZPM’s next generation carbon nanotube (CNT) enhanced prepreg, Arovex.

The new boat, designated 540SE (Super Efficient), is intended as a technology demonstrator to show what future boats are capable of when built with new nano-enhanced materials like Arovex. By building the boat with Arovex, Zyvex say that the 54-foot boat will weigh less than 8,000 pounds, fully equipped, approximately 75% less than fibreglass boats its size, and 33% less than conventional carbon fibre boats. The weight reduction allows the new boat to require 75% less horsepower, considerably reduced emissions, and extended range.

Boat construction began at Pacific Washington based Strategic Composites late last month.

“We are very proud to be unveiling this new boat. By re-imagining and designing boats to take full advantage of our materials, a new generation of boats can be built that are remarkably lighter, consume far less fuel, and cut carbon emissions.” says Lance Criscuolo, President of Zyvex Performance Materials. “By greatly reducing the weight of the boat, performance is increased and emissions are cut by more than two-thirds. This will create a new breed of boats that have expanded capabilities, range, and are environmentally responsible.”

“This new nano-enhanced material will allow us to create the boats of the future,” commented Strategic Composites President Ron Jones Jr. “By being able to greatly decrease the weight of the structure, the engine and fuel requirements are reduced as well. This boat will be able to do things that other boats can’t. It could be carried and airdropped by cargo aircraft, for rescue, deployment, or intercept missions”. Jones went on to elaborate, “The use of these new nano-enhanced materials is what will allow a new generation of ultra efficient green boats to be built. Cities, security forces, and governments that are looking for a flexible platform with super efficiency have an answer now”.

The boat is powered by a pair of small diesel engines, typically found on boats under 40 feet in length. These smaller engines will still be able to propel the hull to top speeds of over 50 mph. Offshore capable, and with a range of over 1,000 miles, the boat will also feature a “glass cockpit” similar to ones found in modern aircraft. Larger engines are optional for higher speed applications.

While designed with defense and security missions in mind, the technology demonstrator will be a conventional civilian/recreational boat. A recreational version using the same hull and materials is also planned and should be available in early 2010 through Synergy Yachts. The announced launch date for the prototype is in November of this year.

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