Traditional boat building dates back to several thousand years. As men started their voyage by sea, the need for big ships and the small boat became crucial. Ever since then, the process, structure, outlook, and interior of boats have been improving.
Today, there are tons of different methods that go into manufacturing a boat. New technology has given birth to more new products, an amalgamation of other elements. Such a mixture is known as composite.
This material is vital in the creation of ships, especially for maintaining the integrity of such vehicles. If you want to know more about composites and boat building, then keep reading.
What Are Composites?
Composites are similar to alloys except you use non-metals in the mixture too. The best part about composites is that each component can keep some of their core traits.
Two main factors play a role in the formation of a composite- Fiber and Matrix. Fiber provides strength and durability to the product, whereas the matrix makes it more malleable. Together, this mixture works wonder on construction areas. There are different kinds of composites in existence, such as:
Designers use this composite widely in the construction of ships and vessels. It is a simple mixture of polymer and plastic matrix. Small fibers of glass are also present in the mix. The amalgamation is cost-effective and extremely lightweight, which is why people widely use it for boats.
Another popular composite is concrete, which is a must for architecture and buildings. You cannot find a tall building without concrete in today’s world. The main constituents of this mixture are loose stones, which act as the fiber and cement. The matrix here is cement, which gives the material its flexibility and strength.
Polymer Matrix Composite
A product widely used in boat building acts as a matrix in this composite is resin. It makes the mixture brittle and extremely flexible, almost like wool. PMC is also well-known for its affordability and versatility.
If you want incredibly durable and sturdy composite fiber, then aramid is an excellent choice. They are, however, on the expensive side, which is why you will find this composite mostly in military and aerospace constructions.
Composite Application for Boat Construction
Plain and natural wood is excellent for boats, but the addition of synthetic products can only increase its efficiency. Hence, people use it on different parts of the ship, such as the hull, the lining, and keel. There are many reasons why brands use composite on boats, such as:
One of the main reasons why composite is used because it makes the boats more strong. Since a composite adds the features of two or more materials, it is naturally more capable than wood.
Composites are synthetic; hence, it can stand the challenge of water and dirt longer than wood. Composites are also very tightly knit, for which reason it becomes more durable. It is easier to maintain such materials as well.
Flexibility and Smoothness
These mixtures are known for their versatility. They can be malleable like steel or aluminum but has fewer disadvantages of metals. Usually, the hull and the angles can be sharp, but with composites, you can achieve smooth edges on your boat.
The entire body of the boat needs to be lightweight if it wants to stay afloat. But you cannot compromise stability to achieve less weight. That is why composites are used for making the hull and for the lining. They are as handy as wood but flexible and weightless.
The affordability factor is crucial to why composites are so popular. You can easily procure this item. Moreover, you do not have to water-proof or desensitize the material. Thus, you are saving in other fields as well.
Although people still use wood on most other body parts, the application of composite effectively increases the lifecycle of a boat. Composites are a modern approach to boat building, and as you have read, it has many benefits.