FRP: Advantages and Market
Fibre Reinforced Plastics (FRP) is a composite material made of a polymer matrix reinforced with fibres.
FRP manufactured parts provide unique properties such as:
- High strength-to-weight ratio
- Design freedom to make complicated parts
- High levels of stiffness
- Chemical resistance
- Retention of dimensional stability across a wide range of temperatures
- Low construction costs and ease of fabrication
The use of FRP has increased recently in marine structures with a minimum of engineering analysis and design evolution. Although fiberglass has been used for many years in small recreational and high-performance boats, a range of new composite materials are now being utilized for various applications.
Fiber-reinforced plastic composites will continue to supplant conventional materials. FRP material demand has been increasing on an average 4.7% annually. Out of total FRP industry in India, Marine applications contribute to 2% of the total market share.
(Reference: NGN Composites- 2007)
Classification of FRP boats
Over last 50 years of FRP boat-building experience stands behind today’s new generation FRP composite boats.
Complex configurations and the advantages of seamless hulls are the main driving factors in the development of FRP boats.
Following are the broad level classification of FRP boats:
- Recreation Industry
- Power Boat
- Motor Yachts
- Sail Boats
- Canoes & Kayaks
- Passenger / Crew Boats
- Commercial Application
- Utility Vessels
- Passenger Ferries
- Ambulance boats
- Military Applications
- Patrol boats
- Immediate Support Boats.
- Army / Border Security Force
- Patrol boats
FRP boat manufacturing in India
FRP boat manufacturers in India are now able to indigenise a range of boats from commercial to military applications. Suppliers in India are now able to manufacture boats with advanced and hybrid composites that deliver higher speed performance and offer a high level of safety.
Post 2015, initiatives like Make in India drive have enabled the Indian boat manufacturers to have their own design, development and localization plan in India. Many of the suppliers of boats to Indian Military applications have been benefited due to this initiative.
SHM Shipcare is one of the FRP boat manufacturers in India. SHM Shipcare designs and develops FRP boats for commercial and military applications.
SHM Shipcare has been supplying the immediate support FRP boats (ISV’s) to the Indian Navy. SHM Shipcare has actively participated in Make in India drive to make and deliver boats for the Indian Military applications.