In cooperation with the maritime lightweight design network MariLight, the CU Innovation Day & Technology Transfer Workshop “Perspectives for the use of fiber composites in the maritime industry” took place on October 17, 2023 at the renowned company Fassmer GmbH & Co. KG in Lemwerder near Bremen.

Due to their good specific mechanical properties and excellent corrosion resistance, fiber-reinforced composites (FRP) offer great potential for lightweight design in the maritime industry. This topic is also becoming increasingly important in shipbuilding due to the climate crisis and the significant rise in energy prices in recent years. However, there are still uncertainties and hurdles to widespread use, e.g. due to regulatory restrictions and challenges in the area of fire protection. The organizers wanted to shed more light on precisely these issues with the event and their program met with great interest in both networks: The Innovation Day had been fully booked for several weeks.

The day began with a warm welcome from Holger Fassmer (CEO Fassmer), followed by a captivating keynote speech. In this, Ralf Zervoß (Fassmer) highlighted the possibilities and limitations of composites in shipbuilding. The central topic of fire protection and the certification of solutions was particularly emphasized. The event offered participants a wide range of informative presentations and discussions covering various aspects and challenges of the use of fiber composites.

The legal framework and regulations for the use of FRP in shipbuilding are defined by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), among others. Stephan Assheuer (admaris GmbH) & Jon Steinlein (Center of Maritime Technologies gGmbH) gave an overview of this important topic and presented the current status for the approval of fiber-reinforced composites for safety-relevant ship structures.

Over the course of the day, experts from various sectors shared their experiences and presented current developments:

The company ar engineers presented the calcbond platform, which enables the simple design of bonded joints. Fassmer used a ship currently under construction to demonstrate specific lightweight design potential. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) provided information on new developments in the field of fire protection. The presentations by InfraCore Company and ThermHex Waben GmbH were dedicated to sandwich technology – InfraCore presented damage-tolerant sandwich structures for shipbuilding, ThermHex presented sandwich panels for transportation applications. CG Rail GmbH shared its experience and solutions for the use of composites in another industry. This was an important insight for the guests, as composite applications in rail vehicles face similar challenges to those in the maritime sector.

After the lecture part, the participants had the opportunity to visit Fassmer Composite in Lemwerder and the Fassmer Maritime shipyard in Berne as part of two exciting guided tours, which provided a practical insight into the realization of innovations in the maritime sector.

MariLight and CU would like to thank the host, Fassmer GmbH & Co. KG, for the excellent organization and support of this event. The positive feedback from the guests encourages both networks in their commitment and the existing cooperation is to be further intensified in order to jointly shape a lighter future for the maritime industry.