Adhesives for lightweight aluminium speed boat

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

One of the world’s most prestigious marine engineering projects – the construction of the Silvestris speed boat – combines structural bonding with an aluminium space frame.

It is one of the first speed boats to be built predominantly from the lightweight material – and weighs in at just 1,500kg.
Araldite adhesives from Huntsman Advanced Materials, were specified by the developer of the boat, Dutch company Silvestris Haute Motive Concepts. The boat’s designer, Maarten de Bruijn, was also responsible for the ‘Spyker’ two-seater aluminium sports car.
He told Eureka: “Although aluminium is relatively new to speed boat design, our team has frequently employed it as a core construction material in other multi-disciplinary design projects. When we started this project, we were confident that the advantages of using adhesives in automotive engineering would transfer straight across to a marine application. We haven’t been disappointed.”
The tubular, patented spaceframe, which forms the skeleton structure of the boat, is riveted and bonded with Araldite 2015 to an aluminium hull. The epoxy adhesive paste cures at room temperature, is thixotropic and resistant to sag at up to 10mm thick. The adhesive creates durable bonds and is ideally suited to SMC and GRP bonding, as well as for joining various metal substrates.
An estimated 50 boats will be custom-built each year, each combining high performance engines within a robust hull design. The unique design will also include a hatch that locks to secure the interior of the boat against weather and potential theft.


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