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Application prospects of aluminum boats

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Application prospects of aluminum boats

           Aluminum alloy has been widely used in various fields of transportation tools due to its excellent physical and chemical properties. Because of its advantages of lighter weight and better corrosion resistance, it is an ideal material to replace steel as a structural material, and it is also an energy-saving, environmentally friendly green material that is needed today. Aluminum alloy has been used in the maritime industry for a long time and has achieved excellent results. Due to the advantages of speed and comfort, aluminum alloy high-speed boats will become the main means of transportation for inland and offshore navigation, work patrols, and recreational fishing. Aluminum alloy is favored by people because of its light weight, easy forming, corrosion resistance and many other advantages. After a hundred years of research and development, aluminum alloys have become more and more widely used in ships and have become a promising material for the shipbuilding industry.

           The specific gravity of aluminum is 2.75 and the specific gravity of steel is 7.85. As a structural material, aluminum is used instead of steel to build ships with steel, which can reduce the weight of ships by more than 50%. In addition, replacing steel plates with thicker aluminum plates as hull materials can not only reduce weight, but also make up for the scrap caused by the rust damage of the steel plates during use. It is an ideal hull material. Aluminum alloy materials can meet the requirements of ship hull structures for fatigue resistance. The structural materials used for ship manufacturing belong to large structures, high-speed running structural materials, and must have good fatigue strength and fracture toughness.

           In 1891, the Esher Wyss company of Zurich, Switzerland built a 1.5KW 8-passenger boat with a maximum speed of 10km/h. In the 1920s, the British developed a seawater corrosion-resistant LA-Mg series alloy. Later, in the 1930s, Britain successively built more than 200 aluminum alloy boats. In the 1940s and 1950s, the United States successively built riveted and welded hybrid aluminum alloy torpedo boats. It was not until the 1960s that Britain developed a pulsed argon arc welding machine (MIG) that directly promoted the construction and application of aluminum alloys. In the 1970s and 1980s, aluminum alloy boats developed rapidly in the United States. At present, the Coast Guard is equipped with a large number of aluminum alloy patrol boats. Japan began the construction of aluminum alloy boats in the late 1950s. In the early 1990s, a large number of aluminum alloy boat manufacturers emerged in Japan, and the rapid popularity of aluminum alloy fishing boats is also unique, reaching more than 430,000.

           The development of the aluminum alloy boat construction industry in China is relatively slow. Before 1979, my country only used the history of aluminum alloy materials in the superstructure of boats, and then successfully developed a new type of corrosion-resistant weldable marine aluminum alloy ( LF16 alloy), and developed a semi-automatic pulsed argon arc welding equipment (NBA-200) with low energy and fast welding speed, which made a breakthrough in the construction of aluminum alloy boats. Aluminum workboats, hovercraft, hydrofoils and so on have appeared one after another. In my country, it was not until the 1990s that aluminum alloy materials were gradually used in the superstructure of large ships. The small boats have not been greatly developed.

           Compared with steel boats and FRP boats, the cost of aluminum alloy boats is relatively high (50% higher than steel boats and 30% higher than FRP boats). However, aluminum alloy boats are light in weight, fast in speed and low in fuel consumption. Moreover, the scrap price of aluminum alloy is higher, and it is not easy to demolish old ships even if the FRP boats cost a lot of money, and the recycling price of aluminum alloy boats is higher. A relatively small increase in cost can replace a new boat. After the collision of the FRP boat, it is difficult to restore the quality of the factory. After the repair, the interface is easy to seep, which has a great impact on the entire ship. After the aluminum alloy boat is repaired, it can fully meet the quality assurance of the factory.

After a comprehensive comparison, the main advantages of the patrol boat made of aluminum alloy (5083 marine aluminum) are as follows:

   * Compared with steel, aluminum alloy is lighter, corrosion resistant and can save energy;


   * Compared with FRP, aluminum alloy has good crash resistance, easy repair, good water tightness, recyclable, environmentally friendly and reusable.


1: Recyclable: Aluminum alloy material can be recycled and reused as a metal material.

2: Durability and long life: The effective life of aluminum alloy boats is 30 years according to the ship inspection

3: Impact resistance: the impact resistance of aluminum alloy hull is stronger than that of glass fiber reinforced plastic ship. This will become more and more obvious as the service life of ships increases. Aluminum alloy materials have great advantages in impact resistance and corrosion resistance.


4: Quick repairability: Aluminum alloy hull can easily and quickly recover after collision. If the hull does not leak after the collision, only simple welding repair is needed to make up the outer plate. If the hull shell is leaked, it is only necessary to re-cut and weld the board according to the size of the leak. The quality of the repaired hull is the same as that of the new hull, and the advantages of rapid repairability of the aluminum alloy hull are particularly obvious.


5: Light weight and fast speed: The weight of aluminum alloy hull is much lighter than fiberglass hull and steel hull, but the strength is very good and will not affect the net load of the hull. The reduction in hull weight has greatly improved the speed and fuel economy of the boat.

6: Personalization: aluminum alloy boats are convenient for welding, and can be customized according to customer requirements


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