Equipment that operates in marine environments must be able to withstand harsh environments while continuing to operate at peak effectiveness. Machinery that operates on boats, docks and offshore installations and the boats, docks and offshore platforms themselves need to be constructed of materials that are high strength and resistant to corrosive marine environments.
Plastics are uniquely suited as a material for marine and boating equipment. They have a high strength to weight ratio, are resistant to corrosion from ultraviolet (UV) light, sea water, abrasive materials and petroleum products and allow for little or no water absorption. Components and structural parts that are constructed of plastics exhibit continued high performance levels in conditions that are unsuitable for metals.
Advancements in composites have expanded the marine applications that can benefit from using plastic parts. Lightweight, strong materials are ideal for linings and boat shells, gears and cargo equipment. Increased flexibility coupled with strength allows new composites to be used for propeller blades and shafts. As composites continue to develop, their use in the marine industry will continue to expand.