Enlightened Aluminium Solutions for Offshore and Marine
Just one third the weight of steel, yet strong and highly corrosion resistant, aluminium is perfect for marine and offshore application. Aluminium specialist Hydro extrudes lightweight, sustainable components for practically any marine or offshore use. And now the latest alloy, the 5083 series, offers even greater structural strength.
Aluminium extrusions, perfectly suited to marine and offshore applications
With far lower maintenance costs, aluminium is also 100 per cent recyclable. Most importantly, it’s durable, strong and highly corrosion resistant.
The lightweight material that saves time and cost
By reducing weight, aluminium reduces transportation costs. It also saves time and cost in installation and decommissioning. Further savings come because of the metal’s low maintenance qualities, and its resistance to corrosion, and because it has a considerably longer lifetime than steel applications. Extremely versatile, aluminium adapts easily into any design, and offers a smooth surface finish. So it’s well suited to many marine applications, and is used widely throughout the industry today.
Through pioneering research and development, aluminium specialist Hydro extrudes this remarkable metal specifically to meet the demands of offshore and marine construction. Working with clients to create and supply machined, pre-assembled and finished components to their precise requirements, its latest alloys offer even greater structural strength for shipbuilders, all in accordance with established international marine society certifications. Aluminium also has a lower environmental impact – for example, less painting or removal of old paint; fewer transported kilograms, and easier of decommissioning and recycling.
Both aluminium and steel are non-combustible and do not burn. However, aluminium conducts heat more effectively than steel, which assists in the dissipation of heat during a fire, and allows rapid boundary cooling of exposed structures. In areas where special fire classes (such as A60) are required, Hydro applies protective materials, including mineral wool or ceramic fibres. Even with the additional weight of the protective insulation, and any active fire suppression system that may be required, the aluminium structure is still far lighter than steel.
5083 series – the new alloys for marine-grade extrusions
To meet the specific demands of the aggressive marine environment, Hydro is continuously developing new alloys. The latest, the 5083 series, is highly resistant to corrosion in salt-water, so particularly suited to applications in the waterline area. It also offers higher weldability and predictable post-weld strength, and extruded sections maintain their flatness. They meet the stringent technical requirements for naval marine hull structure applications – with extrusions and panels as required by DNV-GL and ABS.
For the production of the panels, Hydro employs Friction Stir Welding (FSW), a technique that uses a rotating tool to join flush metal surfaces. The pressure and heat help to form a new, homogenous structure. Compared with melt welding, FSW provides greater strength and less deformation. It also produces an entirely non-porous product, with sealed joints flush with the flat surface.
In addition, FSW is an excellent technology for replicating products. Hydro friction stir welds and machines some of the longest and widest aluminium panels in the world, and joins them into larger panels, maintaining superior tolerances without sacrificing strength.
More about Hydro’s marine expertise
With a global research and development network, and team of marine and offshore specialists, Hydro offers unique technical resources. In particular, the ability to produce large profiles and – through FSW – extruded panels, is making a huge difference to many marine businesses. For example, extruded decking profiles up to 320mm wide, structural profiles with a circumscribing circle diameter up to 290mm, and friction stir welded panels up to 18,000mm long x 3,500mm wide. These are major innovations that make the benefits of aluminium even more valuable in a highly challenging field.
Note: This content was provided by Hydro, not by the editors of OffshoreEnergyToday.com