Over the past 50 years, the number of vessels built constantly increased and so did their size. It therefore might not come as a surprise that aluminum set out to conquer the shipbuilding world and today is the material of choice for many different segments in this industry.
Over the past 50 years, the number of vessels built constantly increased and so did their size. In passenger transport, for example, the aluminium catamarans (ferries) formerly measuring around 20 meters, today have a length of more than 130 meters. In addition, the demand for faster and lighter ships did also rise. Aluminum is the choice for a wide variety of industries: from luxury yachts to cargo boats, coast guard patrol boats, littoral combat boats to pleasure boats. Aluminium even satisfies the special requirements for high-tech materials in the defense and military segment or is used for the machinery and components used within the vessels.
Advantages of aluminium in shipbuilding
Since the marine environment is notoriously one of the harshest on earth, exposing vessels to any possible harming factors especially the constant exposure to water and moisture, salt corrosion, high temperatures or risks of collision, all these segments strive to profit from the beneficial properties of aluminium. Set against other materials, even pure aluminium has already a high natural resistance to corrosion. To take adequate account for marine applications’ most striking requirement, the constant contact with water and saltwater, special marine-grade alloys, in particular AlMg alloys with more than 3.5 % Mg, are used. Compared to other aluminium alloys these alloys ensure an appropriate corrosion resistance for this specific area of application. Therefore, for common marine applications, the maintenance required is pretty low. Even if the aluminium surface is not anodized, the natural forming of the oxide layer protects the integrity of the metal better compared to mild steel structures.
An additional benefit, that AMAG provides to the OEMs and service centers is its cutting capabilities. With its contour band saw AMAG produces contour cuts that provide an improved material utilization ratio. Thanks to the lower transport weight, CO2 is saved, and the cutting waste and sawdust produced is recycled directly in AMAG’s casting facilities.
The AMAG marine-grade alloys possess a number of properties that make them extremely beneficial for marine applications:
- Superior corrosion resistance
- Lightweight with a high strength-to weight ratio
- Excellent weldability
- Cut-to-size service
- Improved material utilization ratio
- CO2-savings through lower transport weight
- Closed loop by remelting the offcuts and swarf
As a reliable partner, AMAG is fully committed to complying with the industry’s expectations, offering not only the right and sustainable materials for many marine applications but also comprehensive expertise and dedicated customer support.
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