Improving speed and corrosion resistance in shipbuilding requires the replacement of steel structures with lighter and stronger aluminum alloys. Aluminum in shipbuilding is the choice of companies who focused on the use of new innovative technologies and reducing production costs.
The need to reduce the weight of various ships due to a possible increase in load and reduce fuel consumption. This forces shipbuilders to turn to aluminum alloys because of their potential to reduce the weight of ship structures by up to 50% compared to low carbon steels.
Marine aluminum is a term denoting a group of rolled aluminum that can be used for the construction of marine vessels. Aluminum in shipbuilding in the form of aluminum-magnesium alloys is widespread. Often it has various names: marine aluminum, ship aluminum, boat aluminum. All these names are associated with excellent corrosion resistance of aluminum-magnesium alloys (magnesium content from 3 to 6%) in both fresh water and sea water. An indispensable important quality of marine aluminum is good weld ability and good mechanical properties. But we must clearly understand the purpose and operating conditions of the product and share the use of the material. So for a river or lake water, sheets of AMg3 alloy are suitable or according in the European standard - sheets 5754.
For slightly salted water, for example in the Baltic sea, it is better to use sheets of AMg5 alloy or in the European analogue sheets 5083 (aluminum and magnesium alloy), which use for plates, and aluminum sheets 6082 (an alloy of aluminum, magnesium and silicon). These alloys have proven themselves in work. They have high strength and corrosion resistance. But it is important to remember that together with an increase in the percentage of magnesium content, strength increases, but elasticity decreases and the cost of the material increases!
The main advantages of using aluminum and alloys based on it for the shipbuilding industry:
- reduction in the total mass of vessels by 50%;
- increase in carrying capacity without changing engine power and increasing the cost of diesel fuel;
- improvement of tactical and technical characteristics - speed, angle of rotation, maneuverability, resistance to the negative effects of low temperatures;
- increasing the corrosion resistance of the hull, deck superstructures and ship equipment.
Soviet industry successfully used all the advantages of aluminum in shipbuilding. Vessels made in the USSR from aluminum alloys on wings and an air cushion competed on equal terms with leading foreign companies in Australia, Canada and Norway. The only thing our boats and boats were losing to competitors then was the quality of the finish and the weld.
Modern welding and polishing technologies allow Russian manufacturers to forget about the shortcomings and resume the production of light, modern, maneuverable and durable vessels of the Russian river and sea fleet.
Summing up the above, we can confidently say that the future of aluminum in the shipbuilding industry is very promising.