Measuring the deformations of a composite propeller at full scale
Important measurement data was gathered at full scale to facilitate the design of shape-adaptive propellers. Ship propellers are generally constructed using metallic materials such as bronze alloys, while fibre-reinforced composites are mainly seen on smaller recreational craft and yachts. These composite materials are lower in weight, have good fatigue properties and possibly geometric flexibility, which are important drivers for the improvement of ship performance. In particular, the possibility to adapt the geometry of the propeller blades through structural flexibility may enable improvements in fuel efficiency, underwater-radiated noise and onboard comfort.