Looking back at successful final QUALIFY Event

 

The QUALIFY project ran for more than four years to remove the technological barriers that currently prevent the widespread application of hybrid structures (metal to composite) in the maritime industry. On 23 November 2021, the Final QUALIFY event took place, with presentations highlighting the achievements of the project.

The maritime landscape is facing a wide array of challenges: climate change, call for decarbonisation and an overall need for sustainable operations. One way to reduce fuel consumption is to reduce the weight of the primary structure, which asks for the development of durable, lightweight solutions that can withstand such loads under extreme conditions, without compromising safety.

The shipbuilding industry has been exploring the use of adhesively bonded hybrid joints in primary structures, but at present misses the certification guidelines to orient the industry when certifying new designs using such hybrid assemblies.

Goal of project

Funded by the European INTERREG 2 Seas-Mers-Zeeën programme, a multi-disciplinary and multi-national team has worked on the QUALIFY project for the past four years to remove the technological barriers that currently prevent the widespread application of hybrid structures (metal to composite) in the industry. The combination of expertise and capabilities from academia, industry and classification societies, and the availability of a unique testing infrastructure, provided the best conditions to realise the project’s main goals: the formulation of a regulatory framework and a reliable inspection and maintenance technology, enabling incorporation of hybrid joints in future design for ships.

Sirris contribution

A market study has been carried out by Sirris and Damen for offshore and marine applications, respectively. The market study aimed to give an overview of the advantages and challenges of adhesive bonding and to present current case studies and potential future applications. The report includes also the results of a survey amongst industrial and academic stakeholders to map the needs of the market. The published report can be found here.

QUALIFY event

On Tuesday 23 November 2021, the Final QUALIFY event took place as a hybrid event, and was also streamlined for a wider public. The programme of the event consisted of presentations highlighting the achievements of the project, and was concluded with a lively discussion. If you missed the event, please find the links to all presentations here.

Conclusion

The regulatory framework for the application of hybrid joints in primary structures paves the way towards a more sustainable maritime industry. This lightweight solution realises a reduction of fuel consumption up to 7% and a considerable decrease of harmful emissions. Furthermore, the hybrid joints enhance ship stability, lead to greater safety during production and lower the need for maintenance.

The partners are eager to work further on the potential of hybrid joints in harsh environments. Please contact us if your company is interested to participate. For more information on QUALIFY, visit our project page.