A new shock-absorbing hull could make speedboats sturdier and reduce the need for repairs.
Hulls of speedboats are usually made using materials such as fiberglass which can crack easily from the impact of water. Therefore, these lightweight composite materials often result in speedboats needing frequent repairs and may even cause boats to sink at sea. A team from the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) led by Juan Carlos Suárez Bermejo, came up with a solution which places a thin viscoelastic layer in between the layers of a composite material used to make a speedboat’s hull.
Viscoelastic is made from linked rigid polymer hexagons. In the middle of each hexagon is a rubber piece which absorbs the energy of impacts and then dissipates it. Therefore there is less impact on the surrounding matter. After completing lab tests, published in the journal Ocean Engineering, the researchers believe that the hulls incorporating viscoelastic layers should only need one third of the repairs relating to damage caused by water impact that traditional hulls do.
Another water craft innovation we have previously published at Springwise, is a foldable and portable smart boat. Users can use it to sail, kayak or run on solar, and can also carry it as a backpack. Another example is an eco-friendly sailboat that doubles as a co-working space.