Originally designed for watercraft, a composite material developed by the Scotland-based Ultimate Boat Company (UBC) could be a gamechanger in terms of both performance and sustainability for countless industries and applications, from wind power to yachting.
The new material, called DANU, was designed to be a superior option to glass-reinforced plastic. Not only is the DANU lighter and stronger than glass-reinforced plastic, but the former is also made from all-natural materials, while the latter is synthetic.
DANU is fabricated from styrene-free resin and sustainable fibers. It can be produced using the same infusion method used to make a glass-reinforced polymer, but DANU is both sustainable and able to be reused multiple times.
Powerboats and other watercraft are commonly built using glass-reinforced polymer, which is a blend of synthetic resin and glass fibers. This composite material is fabricated as the bolt is molded, as opposed to stock raw material being used in a construction process. Because fabrication and molding occur at the same time, the quality of a hull often depends on the operational capabilities.
Until about 50 years ago, holes made with glass-reinforced polymer were actually thicker than they needed to be. While this led to the glass-reinforced polymer being known as a sturdy shipbuilding material, the fact that it is made from petroleum and not reusable led to the mass landfilling of boat hulls being a major environmental problem.
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