ADAM4EVE - Adaptive and smart materials and structures for more efficient vessels

Problem addressed:

Ships/boats are generally designed with a particular activity as the main hull-form geometry driver, e.g. cruising/manoeuvring for ships or sailing/motoring for yachts etc. The optimal hull-forms for these various activities are not necessarily the same. Therefore, in traditional naval architecture it is the role of the designer to find compromise between optimal hull-forms to allow for the variety of activities of a ship/boat during its operational cycle. Inclusion of adaptable hull-form features allows for the modification of the geometry increasing the efficiency of the hull for each of its activities. Examples of hull-form geometries that could be considered include bulbous bows, bow/stern waterline fineness, geometry of stern leading to propeller, stern flaps, etc.

Problem addressed:

Several types of advanced adaptive materials have the capability to improve the efficiency and safety of ships. Most of these innovative materials have currently not been applied to ship-application and not evaluated with respect to enhancing the efficiency of ships, but on the other hand usage of these materials could possibly give a significant efficiency increase.

Different types of materials are considered for that application:

  • Active materials with controlled elastic properties for vibration damping
  • Materials with adaptive reflection properties for an adjustment of heat take up (high heat take up in cold regions and vice versa)
  • Phase-changing materials (preferably applied in coatings or panels) for storage of thermal energy
  • Fire retardant materials for ship application


The key objective of this WP is to develop and implement a framework for the assessment of the technical properties and associated application of adaptive material technologies to ship building. Due to the novelty of the solutions to be pursued, further development of the required validation methods and tools is intended, as well as suggestions for standardisation.

The objectives of the WP will be enabled by:

  • (a) specifying suitable applications in the area of adaptive materials with improved mechanical, hydrodynamic, optic reflection, fire resistance and thermal capacity properties
  • (b) test, develop and update suitable methods for model validation
  • (c) apply and develop tools and methods for the safety assessment
  • (d) propose provisional rules for assessment and validation of suitable technologies and contribute to the ongoing rule making process within the context of Goal Based Safety Standards.


The objective of the WP is to make sure that technical solutions developed in ADAM4EVE are sustainable. Sustainability is understood by the project to include the following aspects:

  •  Life Cycle Cost Efficiency
  •  Return-Of-Investment
  •  Environmental Impact
  • Technical Feasibility and Safety

During the final phase of WP03 the results of the safety and technical investment as well as the estimations on Life Cycle Cost and Environmental Impact will be used to make a final holistic assessment of the sustainability of project results.



Problem addressed:

It is a constant trend in passenger ships projects towards higher comfort performance of noise & vibrations. Reduction of noise usually means increase of weight and it is now a pre-requisite to identify, to study and to develop new innovative solutions without increasing the ship’s weight. The reduction of space is also expected and constitutes an important competitive factor.

Target solution:

Two major axes of research need to be investigated:

1. solutions to reduce vibration transfer path transmission through ship structures are expected.

2. Second opportunity with composites and MR technologies is more focused on solutions which could be investigated to improve performance of acoustic radiation of panels and to also increase noise insulation indexes of bulkheads.

In addition, WP5 will investigate adaptive outfitting materials with changeable optical properties and/or thermal storage capacity, applied for Cruise ships.


Problem addressed:

The design of RoPAX ships is usually optimised for a specific operational condition / load case which typically yields less than optimal performance for other, off-design operational conditions. Practically, the operational conditions do however vary over time. These changing operational conditions affect ship speed and draught. As a result, it is necessary to design a hullform which is capable to adapt to different conditions to guarantee an optimal (hydrodynamic) performance over a range of conditions. This will not be possible using a rigid (=fixed) shape but require controlled actuation of form or flow influencing devices. Rather than using different (form) designs it would be desirable to develop a baseline design which allows to adapt the form using adaptive structures and materials. For RoPAX vessels this concerns mainly the stern flow which has a large influence on the trim of the vessel which in turn determines resistance characteristics.


There are two objectives involved within this workpackage:

1. Development and application of modular lightweight cargo deck panels based on adaptive materials and composite sandwich technology.

2. Development and application of adaptive rudder propeller

Problem addressed:

Refrigerated cargo carriers have four to five internal insulated cargo decks. Three or four of those decks need to be insulated. The conventional deck structure, has a large area on which the insulation is applied. When three or four decks are being insulated, the total insulation area might range from 4000 to 6000m2. Applying the insulation on conventional decks is taking an enormous amount of man-hours. The idea is to develop a modular lightweight cargo deck panels based on advanced composite sandwich technology for the refrigerated cargo ships currently being designed at Uljanik shipyard. The dimensions of a single panel will be optimised so can be transported on the ship via the side loader, and shifted on position by forklifts.  Hybrid structures also provide means of developing highly optimised designs by taking novel substructure design variables together with standard structural variables in search for globally optimal hybrid structure.

The new panels will provide the following advantages to performances in application case:

  • Light ship weight will be reduced up to 490 t.
  • Consumption at service speed will be reduced up to 5 % or 3.2 t/day.
  • Modular Design – to facilitate transport and montage

Problem 2

Those vessels manoeuvring criteria are based on the requirements to approach astern in gates at terminals. Tunnel stern thrusters are ineffective so the only present solution is to install two CPPs. However, the present solution reduces the ship efficiency in seagoing conditions. Therefore, the effective adaptive manoeuvring propulsion is required. The idea is to develop the adaptive rudder-propeller i.e. spade rudder with incorporated electric-motor driven propeller for the train ferry vessels currently being designed in Uljanik shipyard.

The new propulsion system will provide the following advantages to ship performance in particular application case:

  • The fuel saving of 15 % is obtained due to the fact that twin propeller propulsion is replaced with single propeller propulsion.
  • The manoeuvring capability is increased by 5% in seagoing condition with a possibility of take me home.
  • The manoeuvring capability in ports is increased as the rudder propeller act at 0-90 degrees.
  • The lightweight mass reduction will be 90 t (2 %).
  • The cargo capacity will be increased 4 %.



Problem addressed:

A big interest in improving design, fabrication and mechanical performance of ship hull structures has led to increase in use of new concepts in the shipbuilding industry for structures of inland waterborne transportation vessels, in order to meet the new expectations in the sector regarding the improving the damping characteristics in the case of vibrations. Nowadays, special requirements related to the vibration comfort on board vessel are mandatory to be fulfilled. Also, the risk of damage due to the ship structure vibrations resulting from inadequate fatigue strength is particularly high. Inland ship hull structures vibrations are mainly caused by excitations from the main engines, propellers and other machinery contained within the ship. Providing  the ship with a balancer is not very often a complete solution for ship vibrations. To improve the dynamic performances of the ship hull structure, finding new solutions for dampers is mandatory. 

The objective of this WP is to evaluate and propose an active damper made of magnetorheological elastomers (MRE) for ship structural damping.

  • The concept of the active damper is different from the existing dampers in the market.
  • This new type of damper will be able to cope with a wide range of vibrations.
  • Finally, the comfort and safety onboard will be improved.


Problem addressed:

Leisure yachts are often exposed to sunlight for several hours during daytime. This results in significant heating of the yacht’s interior due to the presence of large window openings and glass covered areas. In turn, the yachts have to be equipped with sufficient HVAC system to provide the sufficient cooling and air ventilation resulting in considerable energy consumption. Reduced intake of sunlight would increase the passengers’ comfort and reduce the energy consumption of HVAC systems. One possible solution reduce the intake of sunlight is by using smart materials with adaptive optical properties such as transparency and reflectance. This is realised by means of electro- or thermochromic glasses in windows and other class covered areas. Such materials have a capability of changing their transparency or reflectance and thereby limit the transmittance of solar irradiation.

Expected impact:

  • Reduction of the intake of sunlight 30% - 40%
  • Reduction of temperature increase due to the intake of sunlight 30% - 40%
  • Reduction of energy consumption of HVAC system for air conditioning 20-30%



Problem addressed:

The effect of the final innovative adaptive solutions designed for RoPax vessels should be verified. The intended adaptive solution is being designed in WP06, whilst its hydrodynamic properties will be assessed in WP03 by means of CFD calculations. In WP10 the model scale performance tests are intended to do for adaptive aft part of the RoPax vessel. An adaptable model will be built and used for model tests in WP10 as well as providing technical assessment for WP06.  WP10 decides during the project by what means the ship model will be adaptive. If possible, an existing ship hull model will be used to minimize production costs and to put more effort in developing the adaptable/adaptive aft part of the ship model.

Target solution:

The targets are to apply the innovative solutions for adaptive solutions in realistic design studies for specific products; to validate the functionality and processibility of components from adaptive materials and structures by manufacturing a prototype(s) and; to identify problems and future research needs when using adaptive materials or structures. Once the adaptive solution is developed it should be applicable in different types of vessels or used in large scale. To demonstrate the technical feasibility of adaptive materials and structures can be done by using prototypes in model scale.



The objectives of this WP are:

  • to ensure the quality, technical excellence and practical relevance of the project results
  • managing of dissemination, communication and cooperation of the project
  • ensuring the exploitation and commercialization of the results and the protection and management of foreground knowledge

Activities will include:

  • Set-up and maintenance of the public project website and the internal knowledge repository;
  • Identifying and initiating measures and channels for dissemination to the target groups
  • Identifying external projects and implement cooperation
  • Preparing, updating and monitoring  the dissemination plan.


The objective of this WP is to:

  • Ensure the quality, technical excellence and practical relevance of the project results, represented by the Deliverables

The work package will be lead by the leader of the Quality Control Group (QCG). The QCG will be the main instrument of the project to implement the work and to coordinate the contributions of all project partners. It will involve representatives from all work packages.





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The ADAM4EVE project is co-funded by the European Commission

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