Hulls could be made from composite material in the future. File Image / Pixabay.
A ship's hull built from composite material would be considerably lighter than one hewn from steel, a European shipyard has said.
In partnership with other firms, Dutch shipyard Damen has been developing the material under the Realisation and Demonstration of Advanced Material Solutions for Sustainable and Efficient Ships (RAMSSES) project which is backed by the European Union.
A full-composite ship's hull section has been unveiled at its Vlissingen-East base, the company said.
A composite vessel would weigh up to 40% less than a steel hull.
The project is ready to go forward with a series of tests to demonstrate the viability of large, composite ships.
At present, regulations cover composite ships of up to 25 metres in length, but under RAMSSES, prototypes could be scaled up to include vessels of up to 85 metres in length, according to the company.