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The main objective of the project was the assessment of the feasibility of lightweight, high strength structures addressed to hull of large size SES fast ships. In this respect the following main goals were pursued: - generation of knowledge on the loads and on the behaviour of hull structure at sea - definition of reliable procedures for assessing the performance of structures and materials - definition of reliability based design procedures Other relevant goals were: - development of innovative components in advance materials - technology transfer from the other industrial sector concerning advanced composite production technologies and procedures These objectives were also found to be too critical for the development and improvement of other types of fast ships and for the competitiveness of conventional passenger ships. From the operative point of view, the MATSTRUTSES project was subdivided into four main areas of investigations: 1. Simulation tools 2. Design criteria 3. Concept production methods - processes and plants 4. Assessment of feasibility of large SES light structures According to the structure assigned to the project, the main achievements obtained are the following: 1. Simulation tools - fully integrated software procedure for structural analysis and design 2. Design criteria - reliability based structural design criteria and guidelines - experimental results from towing tank tests on segmented model and sea trials on SES vessels - increase the knowledge on global and local load including slamming load of the ship in waves - mechanical fatigue and fire test results on innovative structure solutions 3. Concept production methods - processes and plants - production processes for large size hull structures by using advanced materials (such as honeycomb/foam core sandwich structures etc) - new shipbuilding production processes (structural joint and welding), for high thickness aluminium alloy joint - mechanical fatigue and fire test results on innovative structural solutions 4. Assessment of feasibility of large SES light structures - new materials and structural solution for low weight, high strength for the main hull structures of large size SES - new high mechanical, fire and smoke emission performances of structural panels to be used in other industrial fields such as aeronautic, railway and civil building application.

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