Damen has been looking at ways to promote sustainable shipping for years. Reducing the frictional resistance of the ship’s hull by means of air lubrication showed to be a promising way. Model scale and full scale investigations demonstrated that overall fuel-savings up to 15% are possible.

Damen participated in successful Dutch and European funded research projects and recently commissioned a new type of air lubricated inland ship called the Ecoliner. This verssel is equipped with air chambers. This concept is patented by Damen.

Current research is looking into the practical and economic feasibility of an alternative system based on an air cavity concept. This concept is patented by the Technological University of Delft, the Netherlands. Fundamental research showed good results and this system allows for a wider application, being less sensitive to ship motions and with less impact on the hull geometry. This makes it possible to refit existing vessels with the air cavity concept.

bluenose project - composite vessels

Bluenose project helps set the international standard for composite safety

The Bluenose project, led by Marcel Elenbaas at Damen Schelde and comprising a team of research engineers from Damen Shipyards Gorinchem and Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, takes inspiration from past innovation in a bid to develop effective new solutions. The overall objective of the project is to boost composite development within Damen beyond the class rules. In doing so, the project pioneers the design and construction of a new product and concurrently helps to develop standards governing the use of that product.

Composite ships for the next generation of ship owners

Composite ships for the next generation of ship owners

A new era is dawning in the shipbuilding industry, one where traditional construction materials are being replaced with composites. These modern materials yield numerous advantages.


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