Materials and Corrosion

Ships operate in a complex ocean environment. The structure is dynamically loaded in multiaxial stress regime that needs to be considered if any changes to typical structure is considered. Furthermore, the sea is corrosive to metals and also degrades other materials like composites. Composites are starting to be used as structural panels in ships but are difficult to join to the steel structure (the rest of the ship), are flammable, difficult to recycle etc. However, they are much better in allowing wireless signal to pass through. Ships also need to be much more energy efficient to comply with increasingly stringent requirements for environmental protection. Lighter structures are easier to move, saving fuel in operation, which is important for passenger ships and warships where the structure can account for 40%-60% of total weight. Our research involves designing structural panels that allow transfer of wireless signal across the panel, are lightweight (saving fuel in marine vessels), sustainable, and less susceptible to corrosion.