Optimisation of self-adaptive composite marine propellers

Holly Neatby and Xiaobo Zhang

Nowadays FRC materials are widely used in various industries. The reason is that the materials generally have several merits which include high strength to weight ratio, strong resistance against corrosion, long term durability, low thermal conductivity, no electrical and magnetic conductivity. One emerging application in maritime engineering is the composite marine propeller. In contrast to traditional rigid propeller made of Nickel-Aluminium-Bronze (NAB) or Manganese-Aluminium-Bronze (MAB), the shape of a composite marine propeller can be hydro-elastically tailored by employing the intrinsic orthotropic characters of composite materials. By proper designing the configuration, it is expected that the passive-adaptive composite marine propeller could approach optimal pitch angles in a wider spectrum of inflow velocities, furthermore, could improve the efficiency during entire operation. Therefore, this project aims at improving the propeller efficiency by virtue of optimising the composite propeller, and fatigue lifetime limit, especially, will be stressed and included in this optimal design.