Composite material in marine applications has been used for several decades. Its cost-effective light weight properties provide excellent durability, a higher level of resistance to corrosion and improved efficiency for long lasting performance. To date, composites are utilised for a variety of components and structures within the marine industry, including work boats, leisure craft, racing yachts, super yachts and powerboats. Yet unlike most other engineering sectors, there is currently no standard tailored towards marine composite inspection outlining mandatory certification requirements for individuals performing Non-Destructive Testing on marine structures.
Without a standard in place, inspectors are not technically required to undertake any specific training or relevant NDT work experience to be able to provide the inspection; creating complications for those who are responsible for ensuring the boats are fit for purpose and ensuring the safety of the boat. This increases the risk of flaws going undetected, jeopardising the structural integrity of the boat and potentially shortening the operating life of the vessel; and could in worst case scenarios result in loss of life.
In 2015 Lavender International collaborated with Richard Freemantle at Wavelength NDT to develop a bespoke marine composite training course written to EN4179/NAS410/SNT-TC-1A certification standards for the team at International NDT (the NDT division within Marine Results International Ltd), who specialise in inspecting marine composites or metallic parts using non-destructive methods.
This bespoke marine composite course, which is supplementary to a Level 2 Ultrasonic Testing training course, covered an overview of Ultrasonics and audible sound, aspects of Phased Array, bond testing, tap testing, composite materials and product technology. The students had access to an extensive sample library which consisted of mast sections, hull and deck laminates and composite rigging components at different dimensions, thicknesses and material types. All the students successfully passed the course and came to recertify this year to ensure their training qualifications are up to date.
“We are proud to be working with Lavender International and Wavelength NDT to have developed this bespoke course that specifically fits the needs we see for our inspectors, specialising in composite components. Our recertification course this year re-enforced the value we see in this structured training and examination, which we see as essential to develop and demonstrate competency,” said Giles Waterhouse, Director at International NDT.
Looking ahead, International NDT are helping lead the change in marine composite certification standards by working alongside the BINDT, Lavender International and other key organisations in the Marine Industry, as well as an ISO committee to develop of the standard on the ‘Assessment of Composite Masts and Rigging’.
At Lavenders, we offer complete flexibility in the delivery of our training courses; ensuring they are in line with internationally recognised standards and tailored to the specific requirements of our clients. If your business is looking for a bespoke training course, please get in touch with the Lavender team. We continue to work with accreditation bodies to further develop accreditation and best practice for NDT worldwide.
 Rubino, F., Rubino, F., Nisticò, A., Tucci, F. and Carlone, P., 2020. Marine Application of Fiber Reinforced Composites: A Review. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 8(1)