FlexiShape is intended for in-water repair of hull damages below the waterline from groundings, collisions and accidents. Currently, FlexiShape? use and capacity considerations are predicted based on previous experiences combined with rough and coarse theoretical estimates. To explore and materialise the full potential of FlexiShape, and gain an increased confidence and understanding of behaviour, sensitivities, and limitations, a research study is required to investigate and develop a finite element model (FEM) together with a methodology for recommended use of the product. The ambitions are to enable more reliable capacity and limit state estimates for FlexiShape as well as extend its use.
The proposed research study will increase the product range of application by exploring the full potential of FlexiShape through development of new analysis tools and methods to accurately predict characteristics and capacities. The analysis tool and method will define a foundation for an increased number of potential cases where the product is applied for salvage and/or recovery operations. The availability, and increased use of this product in the market, will secure a cleaner ocean and safer environment for ships and fast response to emergencies. Compared to traditional approaches it will provide a reliable, quick and safe product for emergency response in a number of industries using our oceans as working environment. The FlexiShape patches will provide these industries with a safe, cost efficient and reliable product that ensures their assets integrity.
The innovative step change will contribute to compliance with UN Sustainable Development Goal :
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans by using FlexiShape patches not only to rescue damaged ships but also to seal sunken vessels to prevent the escape of trapped oil that might be released if the wreck should move.
Miko Marine is a worldwide leader of flexible patches for safe salvage of shipwrecks and marine installations and constructions. To explore and materialise the full potential of FlexiShape™, and gain an increased confidence and understanding of behaviour, sensitivities, and limitations, a research study is required to investigate and develop a finite element model (FEM) together with a methodology for recommended use of the product. The ambitions are to enable more reliable capacity and limit state estimates for FlexiShape™ as well as extend its use.
The main innovation of the project is thus to document and increase the capacity of FlexiShape™. It is estimated that the methodology developed in the project for recommended use of FlexiShape™ will enable to predict the capacity and behaviour of 80% of foreseen cases with the tested FlexiShape™ size and design. The planned innovation will thus result in an improved product with higher commercialisation potential both nationally and internationally.
The research challenges and associated research questions addressed in the project are:
- What are the appropriate methodologies for testing fabric materials?
- What are the in-service loading cases and how to test these in lab conditions?
- What physical parameters affect the material response?
- What models for fabrics are available in the FE software and which one is the most adapted?
- How to properly calibrate these models?
- What is the accuracy of such models vs experiments?
- How to set up a proper FE model accounting for the interaction between patch and hull?