New design jets ships ahead

Henderson high-speed ferry builder Austal Ships is claiming another competitive advantage through its latest technical innovation, microplate technology.

Now incorporated in all Austal-built vessels, microplate technology optimises the design of structural plates surrounding the jet room to prevent cavitation and cracking caused by water jets.

Austal director Chris Norman described it as a radical tool for reducing noise and vibration from water jets and enhancing the longevity of high-speed vessels. The technology was developed with the aid of detailed computerised structural modelling to assess the best way to optimise protection against structural fatigue by Austal’s Design and Advanced Engineering Department.

He said the technical and environmental advantages of microplate technology were first demonstrated with the March 2000 delivery of an 86 metre gas turbine Auto Express to Bornholms Traifikken in Denmark.

It was then featured in the three Auto Express vessels delivered into the Aegean for Minoan Flying Dolphins.

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