ARLINGTON, Va. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Alcoa technologists demonstrated significant benefits of several new marine joining techniques while presenting study results at the annual meeting of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) today. Leveraging advances from commercial aerospace and automotive industries, researchers applied advanced industrial fasteners in combination with marine adhesives – rather than welds – for certain marine structural joining applications.
The effort involved redesign and physical testing of the joints between integrated panel structures used in modern modular shipbuilding.
“There are two primary and mutually supporting benefits associated with fastened and adhesively bonded splices,” said Kyle A. Crum, Defense Technology Manager at Alcoa Technical Center. “One is eliminating heat from the welding process, which allows the stiffener and surrounding material to maintain its temper and proper yield/tensile strength. The second is that the adhesive/fastener configuration acts to increase the area of action for the joint, making the joint more efficient with lower overall stress peaks. This combination has a significant impact on the joint’s fatigue performance, increasing it by at least an order of magnitude. All this, while being weight neutral and freeing a key resource at shipyards -- welders and welding inspectors.”
Along with the improved fatigue performance, the Alcoa joint design offers reduced hot-work, less welding quality control, use of lower cost labor, increased flexibility for welding resources, simple field repair and, depending on design details, better corrosion performance.
“Our study also highlights the Alcoa Advantage – the company’s cumulative depth of expertise across a variety of highly demanding markets,” Crum added. “It allows us to draw on technology and design methods from other industries and successfully apply appropriate techniques to reduce the cost and increase the performance of marine structures.”
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 125 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 11 consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 30 countries across the world. For more information, visit www.alcoa.com and follow @Alcoa on Twitter at twitter.com/Alcoa.