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Composite patch repair for marine and civil engineering applications

Connect, no. 165, March/April 2010, p.6


A project has begun involving 15 Small and Medium Enterprises and Research and Technology Development organisations funded by the European Commission with the intention of developing a novel, effective repair/reinforcement method for defects in large steel structures. The project has a duration of three years and a budget of over ?3.5m.

For several years, composite patching has proven its effectiveness and cost benefit in the aerospace industry. However, there are several fundamental differences between aerospace and bridge/marine/offshore steel applications, which dictate a separate approach and investigation of the problem.

The project aims are to:

  • demonstrate that composite patch repairs or reinforcements can be environmentally stable and can be used as permanent repair measures on large steel structures.
  • show that composite patch repair technology is an innovative and highly competitive product that caters to the needs of marine vessels and civil engineering infrastructures, the latter in the form of steel bridges.
  • demonstrate the reduction in maintenance costs and extension of design life of many large steel structures.
  • give the project partners the capability of providing high technology and high added value services worldwide, thus improving Europe's competitiveness in specialised and advanced repair work.

Composite patch repairs and/or reinforcements overcome many disadvantages of the traditional repair methods:

  • do not involve hot works and, therefore, existing deadweight loading and proximity to explosive environments have no particular consequences
  • can be applied directly on corroded steel members by performing a simple surface preparation
  • can be completed faster
  • exhibit good fatigue resistance
  • do not cause stress concentrations
  • result in low added weight

The consortium is currently looking to invite interested stakeholders from marine, civil and materials suppliers to follow the project activities within the framework of a relevant stakeholders forum.

For further information please contact Dr Farshad Salmat-Zadeh on or go to


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