Quo Vadis?

In 1937, ray Greene did the first boat of a composite material based on glass fibers. Since then it’s been a while. Widely GRP for construction of fishing boats and boats began to be used from mid-1960-ies. Unconditional dignity of the first constructions from composite materials: free form factor, corrosion resistance, light weight and low thermal conductivity is accompanied by a bunch of weaknesses. Low abrasion resistance, degradation by ultraviolet light, surface osmosis prevented the boats from GRP (glass reinforce plastic) to establish itself on the market as a “product number one”. Was a tight competition with constructions of wood and metal.

But if progress in wooden buildings is almost reduced to the fact that they were composite: wood + polymer impregnation + sealants + polymeric protective and reinforcing layers of hull metal held steady competition almost to the end of the 1990s.

The reason is the conservative thinking that significantly complicated the path of the modern technologies for the production of PCM (polymeric composite materials) to the Russian market. Many were not able to comprehend the progress in RMB, which is every two-three years bestowed on new advances in materials and technology. And if sailing racer, even at the end of 1980-ies it was already ridiculous to offer to be on the boat with the hull made of wood and especially metal (I’m not talking about the classic types, although there have their own “apostates”), then in the minds of many of our countrymen a reliable boat is still associated with… duralumin “Kazanka”. And that’s it.

Why? And he was like plastic boat is “a stall for ice cream” on the water: poked and drowned… whether the case of light alloy: “well, roughly, visibly!..” The apologists of metal possessed the mass consciousness, and the Russian market has not gained a strong and light hull of the modern PKM, at a cost close to the buildings made of light alloy. And if, instead of complaints about the inertia of the consciousness of the average consumer to come to grips with the real implementation of the “unkillable” PKM-buildings, for ten years the situation will definitely change.

Here could assist professional boat builders and professional users in government agencies, but… last year before the world Cup there was a question about retrofitting providing organizations with modern boats. With the participation of St. Petersburg, GIMS, we have developed a specification for the boat, in which he proposed the case of the PCM, strength superior to steel, it is 3.5 times lighter and at a very reasonable price. The answer is “from above” was discouraged. It sounded like this: “Based on past practice, the leadership sees no reason to abandon metal enclosures…”. And all the benefits of PCM: strength, weight, speed, and seaworthiness, durability and cost of operation — could not outweigh the factor of “current practice”.

How “big” shipbuilding? While our company already produce the supermaterial for the PKM, and leading companies have mastered the modern technology of the computerized moulding and styling, there is a shipyard, where loudly declare that the case of the RMB in 10 (!) times more expensive and not as heavy as steel. The experience of the pilots, who are adopting RMB in series ships, it is not an example. In other organizations only learn more sandwich-based foams and fiercely resist “aviation” cell aggregates…

And it’s not far off the next step — the creation of buildings by 3D printing of thermoplastics with the placing of glass and carbon threads along the lines of equal stress. Machines in the country; they produce intricate, unique weight and strength of the structure, in comparison with which the hull — a fruit cake of a child’s sandbox. I am afraid that while the “effective managers” from shipbuilding to comprehend the benefits of new technologies, the gap between the aircraft and shipbuilding will become insurmountable.

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