Launched in 2017, the European Innovation Action RAMSSES is addressing the most relevant problems that hinder a broader and quicker technology uptake, thus to obtain recognition and an established role for advanced materials in the European maritime industry.

The project comprises both practical measures that are dedicated to improving, assessing and showing the readiness of certain technologies, and strategic actions that aim at enhancing the innovation capability of the European maritime industry on the long run and in a sustainable manner.

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, the use of advanced composite materials such as carbon fibre-reinforced polymers or plastics is gaining traction in the shipping industry where most vessels are still made of heavy steel.

Project partners have recently displayed the full-scale hull section of a large offshore vessel made of composite materials.

There are numerous benefits to composite shipbuilding – chief amongst which is the contribution composites make towards greater maritime efficiency and sustainability. A composite vessel like the one the RAMSSES partners are working towards would weigh up to 40 % less than a steel equivalent,

...RAMSSES project partner Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) states.

Despite reducing both fuel consumption and emissions, due to a lack of approved guidelines, “regulations covering composite shipbuilding only cover vessels up to 500 tonnes – approximately 25 metres in length,” DSNS explains.

RAMSSES aims to address this by scaling up the composite technology and capacity to design, produce and market composite vessels up to 85 metres long in full compliance with SOLAS and class regulations by validating the production process of large composite structures with economic improvement and key performance indicators for fire-resistance, impact resistance and structural robustness.

The RAMSSES (Realisation and Demonstration of Advanced Material Solutions for Sustainable and Efficient Ships) project will run until May 2021. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.