Collaboration addresses ISO 12215-5:2019 standard challenges

Composite engineering consultancy STRUCTeam is working with sandwich composite technology company 3A Composites Core Materials to address challenges posed by the revised ISO 12215-5:2019 standard.

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This technical partnership will provide support for 3A Composites Core Materials’ customers and the broader marine industry, as they navigate the amended structural design guidelines for small crafts.

The 2019 edition supersedes ISO 12215-5:2008 and introduces more stringent core strength requirements and changes in methods to compute structural compliance. These modifications have a notable effect on flat sandwich panels, resulting in a potential increase in weight by up to 30% for hull and deck plating. As a result, vessels that adhered to the 2008 edition may not meet the criteria of the 2019 edition, leading to what is commonly referred to as "grandfathering."

Recognising the importance of addressing these challenges, 3A Composites Core Materials and STRUCTeam presented their findings to Grégoire Dolto of CTN Conseil. Dolto, an engineer and naval architect with experience drafting multiple ISO standards, and convener of ISO WG 18 that drafted ISO 12215 standards from 2003 to 2021, further engaged Beneteau, the sailboat builder and institutional contributor to ISO. The collaborative aim was to identify the root causes and develop solutions to prevent or alleviate a "grandfathering" effect as the ISO standard continues its evolution. The primary focus was on rectifying the shortcomings of the 2019 framework and exploring optimal design approaches with foam and balsa core materials.

Although mitigating the weight penalty within the 2019 edition is possible, it requires the allocation of extra engineering resources and budget, using Finite Element Analysis (FEA). In response, 3A Composites Core Materials has initiated a dedicated test program aimed at enhancing material data for FEA analysis of their materials. Simultaneously, STRUCTeam and Beneteau are actively developing long-term solutions and proposals, with the goal of submitting them to the ISO Working Group.

Eric Gauthier, 3A Composites Core Materials’ CEO said: “This joint work, with leading and recognised companies from our industry, allows us to better support our clients in professional and pragmatic compliance with the ISO 12215-5:2019 standard which drives the best choice of core material versus requirements.”

Karen Loiselet, Responsable métier certification et calcul de Structure at Beneteau, added: “The collaboration with 3A Composites Core Materials and STRUCTeam has played a vital role in identifying key improvements to consider for the future of ISO 12215-5. The remarkable evolution of the ISO guideline from its inception, highlights the importance of collectively gathered experience in continually enhancing reliability and structural integrity.”

Nico Voorzee, STRUCTeam’s Marine Sales Lead commented: "Our collaboration with 3A Composites Core Materials, Beneteau and Grégoire Dolto strongly aligns with our mission to lead in engineering services within the marine industry. This project resulted in a major update to our commercially available software solution, CompoSIDE, seamlessly integrating the 2019 edition of the ISO 12215-5 into our ISO compliance module, YACHTScant. This achievement further strengthens our commitment to providing industry-leading solutions."