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ESAComp meets challenging marine applications

olivari engineering

In this article we learn about ESAComp's role in the design-development of a carbon composite RIB "Rigid-hulled Inflatable Boat", the latest project from Dr. Luca Olivari, a naval architect, founder and owner of the Italian company Olivari Composites Engineering.

About Olivari Composites Engineering

Olivari Composites Engineering specializes in engineering of composite structures. With their long experience in motorboats and sailboats structural engineering, Olivari is involved in the realization of a vast number of racing and cruising yachts. Olivari's knowledge and expertise is also applied to many other sectors: from aeronautics to transportation, from renewable energy to natural fibres.

Dr. Luca Olivari is a naval architect and a major European expert in engineering of composite materials.

olivari carbon hull

"To give you an example, over the years, I've been involved in the design and analysis of over 60 composite rudders of all sizes up to 350kg", explains Dr. Olivari. "I was also involved with Fincantieri Military Dept. in the project of a stealth composite upper structure for a 90m ship. Since 1987 I do all the structural projects for Del Pardo and, from 2004, all the structural projects for the Azimut-Benetti Group".

Over 15 years ago, Olivari Composites Engineering were the first Italian ESAComp user, the software solution provided by Componeering Inc. (Finland), which remains the first choice for the design of many composite structures.

"My practical experience gained by building and sailing a lot of the boats allows me to optimize the theoretic aspect of the calculation and construction technique with composite materials".

"I mainly use ESAComp for my marine projects, both sail and powerboat composite structures", explains Dr. Olivari.

RIB "Rigid-hulled Inflatable Boat": the latest challenging project by Olivari Composites

olivari rib diagram

Let's talk about the design of the carbon Rigid-hulled Inflatable Boat

"The design-development of the rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RIB) was really challenging, it is a high-performance boat, 16.5m length with carbon fibre primary structures (keel and hull). This boat has a very powerful engine with surface propellers and an advanced transmission system, reaching a maximum speed of about 60 knots. The choice of material depends on the main design requirement, related to the stiffness/mass ratio. The design of the hull was heavily influenced by constraints such as interior spaces, low profile and external boat profile".

What are the design drivers for this kind of boat?

ESAComp panel

"First of all the boat is classified by length and performance requirements. The reinforced panels of the hull have been verified according to several Standard Rules. The ABS Rules (American Bureau of Shipping) can be considered a good reference, but in this case the Italian RINA and Norwegian DNV Rules were also taken into account. Once the shape and size of the boat are fixed, the structural grid and the inner constraints are also defined. The entire structure is then simplified in several elementary subsystems which are then verified through ESAComp. According with these Standards, the pressure distribution on the panels is applied one by one".

What is the added value provided by ESAComp?

A suitable definition of the material properties is mandatory to build a robust and reliable numerical model. "The ESAComp Data Bank is an excellent reference source which is continuously upgraded. I usually couple these data with my personal material library, built up during the years working with the main Italian shipyards".

Moreover, ESAComp provides several analysis features used to verify the mechanical static and dynamic response of the composite reinforced panels under the operative conditions suggested by the Standards.

Do you interface ESAComp to external FE software?

ESAComp layer chart

"Sometimes I use this capability, the material properties of the plies and laminate lay-ups are directly exported, so the FE model set-up is really straightforward and quick".

"In this case, however, only the analysis tools provided by ESAComp I was able to evaluate the mechanical performances of each panel guaranteeing suitable margin of safety".

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