JEC innovation awards are handed out to 13 “composite champions”. Among the winners, who were announced on 18th January, is Brødrene Aa for their tourist ferry Vision of the Fjords. Brødrene Aa, with co-winners Diab (Norway), Saertex (Germany) and Reichhold (Norway) won the category ‘Better Living’.
“We are proud to be a part of this project,” said Viggo Karlsen, managing director at Diab. “It clearly shows the potential for strong, light and environmentally-friendly solutions.”
Brødrene Aa’s ship for use on tourist excursions in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed fjord of Nærøyfjord is able to meet the challenge of combining mass tourism and the need to preserve the environment. Vision of the Fjords has open spaces for sightseeing as well as vast window areas and an efficient catamaran design, which reduces waves and wash on the shores of the fjord.
To realise their idea, Brødrene Aa needed to find a material with the required stiffness and design possibilities. The solution was to use carbon fibre reinforced polymers and carbon sandwich materials from Diab. All of the ship’s structural elements are made out of carbon sandwich laminates, including decks, walls, stairs and ceilings, as well as the 42m long and 5m high hulls of the catamaran structure, which are produced in a one-shot vacuum infusion process.
“The low weight of the sandwich laminates enables the ship to be propelled by electric motors with lower power, making it clean and silent. In this project, the use of composite materials was mandatory to be able to provide the required design while making the ship environmentally friendly in the process as well,” according to the JEC comment on the award.
“Manufacturing processes for large series are growing in importance this year. This movement is expected to trigger a more massive use of composites.” said Ms Frédérique Mutel, JEC Group president & CEO.