LASS, “Lightweight construction applications at sea”, began in 2005 with researchers from SP, Chalmers, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Swerea SICOMP, DNV and SSPA. The project was designed to demonstrate the economic and ecological benefits from a weight perspective using lightweight materials (aluminium and plastic composites) for ship structures. A number of positive effects are now evident: six ships have been redrawn using light construction materials and the number of participating organisations has risen to 30.
Through cooperation with the EU’s SAFEDOR project, a fire and risk analysis was made for a new ferry with composite superstructure that shipping company Stena plans to build. Supporting documentation from a ship that was designed in LASS was used by the Swedish Coast Guard for the procurement of new patrol boats. Shipyard Kockums has started production of composite vessels and sells composite superstructures for steel ships. The world’s first two fire-rated carbon fibre catamarans were launched by Styrsöbolaget in 2010.