The new ASV from Tuco reduces fuel consumption with composite solution
8 November, 2016
Light weight makes all the difference when it comes to reducing fuel consumption. Using a mere 3.3 liters/NM at 30 knots, the new Air Supported Vessel (ASV) from Tuco was built using a Divinycell core and carbon fiber laminates.
Focusing on innovation and sustainability
Founded in 1998 as a traditional sailing boat yard, Tuco Marine Group specializes in light structures and hulls manufactured from composite materials. Over the years, focus has shifted from sailing boats towards larger structures, primarily in the commercial maritime sector, but also in other industries that benefit from low weight and high strength. With a highly skilled and experienced production team, Tuco Marine Group offers custom-built ships, but also repairs and maintenance of composite materials. Their mission is clear: "We are founded by entrepreneurs who are innovative and who want to continue being so, by developing and delivering products that weigh less, save fuels and affect our environment less."
The ASV concept – a cushion of air
With their clear focus on sustainability and innovation, it is probably no coincidence that the Tuco engineers decided to team up with Diab for their latest carbon sandwich Air Supported Vessel (ASV) Soft Motion Demonstrator, in collaboration with the Norwegian company Effect Ships International AS. Measuring 18 x 5.2 m and fitted with two small Volvo Penta IPS 600 pod drives (2 x 320 kW), the vessel benefits from the patented ASV concept, which allows it to ride on “a cushion of air". This solution reduces the wetted surface area and hull/water resistance to a minimum. During tests – and prior to any optimization work – the ASV reached a speed of 37.2 knots. But even more remarkable was the fuel consumption. At a speed of 25 knots, the overall consumption was a mere 3.0 liters/NM, including propulsion and lift fan powering. This impressive feat was made possible through its light-weight sandwich construction, with Divinycell core and carbon fiber laminates.
Carbon fiber for light yet strong constructions
With a high degree of stiffness, high tensile strength and elasticity, low weight, high chemical resistance, high degree of temperature resilience and tolerance, as well as low thermic expansion, carbon fiber is the ideal material for a number of industries. Combined with other materials, such as plastic, carbon fiber allows for the production of composites with a very high strength to weight ratio. The benefits are obvious. With a lighter hull, the operational power can be reduced. This, in turn, allows for a smaller engine, which further lowers the overall weight. The fuel consumption decreases, as well as the carbon footprint of the vessel. The lower weight also allows for more passengers or heavier cargo, increasing the effectiveness of the vessel. The winner? Everyone, including the environment.