In January 2010 a consortium of 15 organisations from eight European countries have kick started a European (FP7) funded project on Composite Patch Repair for Marine and Civil Engineering Infrastructure Applications - Co-Patch.
Co-Patch is a novel and potentially effective repair and/or reinforcement method for large steel structures. Two basic structural types will be dealt with, namely marine structures (mainly steel ships) and iron/steel civil engineering structures (e.g. bridges, transmission towers, etc.). It is hoped that the use of patches will significantly reduce the maintenance costs, and in the case of metallic bridges, prolong their design life and help address the consequences of increasing live loads. The proposed technology creates a new market and gives the partners the capability of providing high technology and high added value services worldwide.
Composite material patching is a very promising method for repairing and/or reinforcing metallic structures. Composite patching has proven its effectiveness and cost benefits in the aerospace industry for several years now. In aerospace applications, composite patches have been shown to prevent crack growth and extend the lifetime of the repaired structure. In this context, a composite patch works as a crack arrestor by decreasing the stress in the area of the crack tip. One of the aims of Co-Patch is to investigate whether this is also true for cracks in the marine and civil environments. Composite patching may also be considered in mitigating the effects of corrosion and loss of section.
This is a novel effective repair and/or reinforcement method for large steel structures with defects. Two basic steel structural types will be dealt with in this work, namely marine structures (mainly ships) and steel civil engineering structures (e.g. bridges).
Co-Patch reduces quite significantly the maintenance costs of many large steel structures, and in the case of metallic bridges it prolongs their design life. The proposed technology creates a new market and it gives the partners the capability of providing high technology and high added value services worldwide, thus improving Europe's competitiveness in specialized and advanced repair works.