Technology

Five reasons why you should use aluminium offshore

Thomas Hentschel

By , Head of Research, Rolled Products, Hydro

Five reasons why you should use aluminium offshore

Aluminium telescopic gangways built with uncoated aluminium extrusions and plates using the alloys 5083 and 6082.

Here are five good reasons why it makes sense to use aluminium as a construction material for offshore installations.

– Light weight. The density of aluminium is only a third that of steel, resulting in considerable cost savings and easier transport of construction parts and assembly at the offshore site. Expensive, complex crane work is not required since many parts can be moved and fitted manually. What’s more: Supporting structures can be slimmer when lighter components are used.

-Strength. Aluminium materials suitable for seawater use have a strength-to-weight ratio that is three times higher than that of steel. It is thereby possible to make aluminium components up to 60 percent lighter than equivalent steel ones

-Formability and versatility. Aluminium sheets can be easily formed and joined. Aluminium profiles with complex geometries and integrated functionalities can be manufactured so joints can be optimized, making assembly simpler and assuring the structure a long service life.

-Recycling. At the end of their service lives, aluminium materials can be 100 percent recycled and used again. The metal does not lose any of its original properties in the recycling process.

– Corrosion resistance. This is crucial, not least for unmanned offshore wind energy converters. Since such installations are never brought back to shore during their lifetime, maintenance is expensive and complex. Aluminium assemblies, if constructed and fitted properly, will not corrode. Periodic applications of corrosion-inhibiting coatings are therefore unnecessary.

Read about how aluminium at sea can live a lifetime of decades

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