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Old 22-01-2011, 09:13   #1
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Foaming Metal for Cargo Ships

Thought someone might be interested in this.
New Foaming Metal Could Form Lighter Hulls For Cargo Ships | Popular Science

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Old 22-01-2011, 10:09   #2
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They didn't quote the cost of producing this foam. It is well known that making aluminum requires lots of electrical energy. I'm not sure that this new material would be cost-effective or energy-efficient.


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Old 22-01-2011, 10:18   #3
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There are a lot of factors which are not addressed.

How corrosion resistant is the material?

There is no anti-foulant paint that works well that is compatible with aluminum other than TBT...which is now banned in most developed countries.

Most of a cargo ships weight is in its cargo. The article says it can cut a ships weight by 30%. Lets say for example, if half of a ships weight is cargo, then the real number is a reduction of 15%. Is a 15% reduction in displacement worth it?

If this deforms on impact, then how do tugs come alongside a ship? How does it hold up to impacts from hitting debris underway? How well does it hold up to being pressed against a pier?

How flexible is this material? Ships, just like bridges and aircraft, must be able to flex in order not to crack.

How expensive is this material to create and to work with?

Is it repairable?

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Old 22-01-2011, 11:51   #4
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I'd like to know how they fabricate ship parts from this stuff. Seems to me you wouldn't be able to torch cut the stuff and welding it would be impossible too. Manufacture parts already in the shape? That would result in huge costs for manufacture. Which leave the old standby. Rivets?

Interesting problems. I'll look forward to anymore info forth coming.

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Old 22-01-2011, 12:24   #5
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great idea a bit like airex or balsa core only you can weld it conventionally and ,no need for stiffners either,plasma cut using auto cad,cheap, fast, very strong and efficient,be interesting what the bending coefficients are.

light weight ice breaking catamaran any body?
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