Application of Polymeric Composite Materials

Due to inherent physical-chemical polyfuctional properties, polymer composite materials (PCM) allow to build structures featuring not only high specific strength and stiffness but also non-magnetic properties, chemical and corrosion resistance, sound transparency and sound-absorbing properties. Moreover, PCM provide high dynamic load resistance, low heat conductivity and efficient vibration absorption ability.

Application of Polymeric Composite Materials:

shipbuilding, naval architecture, turbine construction, fuel and energy industry

Today, the world shipbuilding industry is based on polymeric composite materials. According to FSUE Central Research Institute of Structural Materials (CRISM) “Prometey specialists, the development and production of PCM is an integral part of the ship design engineering. That is why the material manufacturing technology defines the performance and durability of the structure to a large extent.

Glass-reinforced plastics and heterogeneous composites

Glass-reinforced plastics and polymer-polymer-based heterogeneous composites belong to the most widely used structural PCMs. For example, CRISM has developed a 3-layer polymeric composite material that features base layers made of fireproof sterol-free glass-reinforced polyester and a corrugated reinforced intermediate layer made of low-density foam. These layers have high specific strength and stiffness.

Using the solutions developed by FSUE CRISM “Prometey”, Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard has launched the production of 3-layer PCM-based three-high topsides with weight over 70 t for the Corvette Project.

The important feature of PCM is the possibility to create vibration damping structures based on these materials. For this purpose, CRISM has developed the vibration damping hybrid structural material (VGKM) that is used in a shock-absorbing frame structure designed as the base plate for the Corvette project ship's powerplants.

To enhance labor capacity and environmental safety in the process of manufacturing of large hull structures, CRISM has developed the unique vacuum infusion process technology.


Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics


To manufacture hull structures for modern naval ships, CRISM has developed a series of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics of different types and also some CFRP-based hybrid materials.

Thus, antifriction CFRPs hold an exceptional position among the solutions developed by CRISM in the range of non-metal functional PCMs. Environmental care has required new solutions in triboengineering systems, intended to get rid of oil lubrication (traditionally used for lubricating friction assemblies made of bronze and babbit) and to apply water lubricants instead.

High tribotechnical performance has been demonstrated by the newly developed UGET carbon fiber-reinforced plastic that is capable of long-time operation at contact pressure up to 100 MPa and of short-time operation at 200 MPa when lubricated with water lubricants.

An increase in the slip velocity in bearings has made manufacturers replace the epoxy-based polymeric composite matrix with the phenol-based matrix. As a result, the new FUT phenol-based CFRP has been fabricated.0} Bearings made of the FUT carbon fiber reinforced plastic are used in mechanisms operating at contact pressure up to 5 MPa and slip velocity of 25-40 m/s with water lubricants or at slip velocity up to 50 m/s with oil lubrication of opposite bodies made of steel or bronze.

To increase admissible operating temperatures and expand the range of application of PCMs, CRISM has launched the development of glass-reinforced and carbon fiber-reinforced polymers based on heat-resistant polymer matrices. The new antifriction material based on the thermoplastic polyphenylene sulfide polymer (PFS) may be used at temperature up to 200°С in water, aggressive environment or in dry friction conditions. This material has been designated as the UPFS material.

For now, the antifriction CBEF is one of the most high-strength antifriction materials. The range of application of these materials is constantly extending. So far, the potential capacity of antifriction CFRP has not been depleted.



Multi-purpose materials


For the last decades, CRISM “Prometey” has been carrying out intense R&D to develop multi-functional materials such as vibration-absorbing materials, non-slip deck coatings, and high-strength light-weight microsphere foams.

These R&D projects have resulted in the development of vibration damping coatings (Vipokom-1, Vipokom-2) and the VIPS vibration-absorbing filler with the following characteristics: steel substrate loss coefficient – 0.18 to 0.25, density – 1.2 to 1.5 g/сm3.

The development of deep-sea vehicles requires a light high-strength low density PCM with a hollow microporous structure to enable the flotation ability of such vehicles.

This problem has been solved by using the UDS, SVP and SPL high-strength microsphere foams for manned and unmanned deep-sea vehicles which can operate at depth of 3 to 6 km at density of 600 kg/m3 max.

CRISM has already developed and is now supplying the Onega-M wear-resistant anti-slip deck coating with the following characteristics: coefficient of sliding friction 0.61, ultimate shear stress – 8.9 MPa.

Anticorrosion solutions

CRISM has developed all the protective alloys and unified protectors which are used in shipbuilding according to GOST 26251. Using the protectors made of the new AP4N protective alloy based on the Al-Zn-Sn-In-Zr alloy system with high anodic activity allows to provide anticorrosion protection of high-speed ships and sea craft with Al-Mg alloy-based hull structures, including dynamically supported craft. Moreover, these protectors are widely used for anticorrosion protection of sea water cooling pipelines at NPPs operating in the coastal area.

Paint materials are used as the main weather-proof coatings of PCM structures and as anticorrosion coatings of metal structures used in marine environment. Today, the CRISM specialists are also involved in the development of biocide-free antifouling coatings with low surface energy to prevent fouling.

Another priority is the development of protective coating systems based upon modified epoxy bonding materials with 15-year service life or longer for all-class and all-application ship’s flotation cans as well as for protection of bulker inter-board spaces according to the requirements of IMO MSC Resolution 215(82).

Further R&D projects related to PCM and anticorrosion coatings will allow to extend the range of application of these materials not only in shipbuilding, hydraulic turbine construction and fuel and energy industry but also in other industries.

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