In my yonger days I sailed Hoby 16 catamarans. Lots of fun and very exciting if we happened to flip it over.
I saw some pics once of a catamaran hydrofoil sailboat. I understand this is the fastest possible racing sailboat. The minimal configuration would appear to be a wing, a hull that barely floats and foils to lift and control the hull attitude. When foil borne the hull, what there is of it, is lifted just out of the water and presents the lowest possible drag. I would think with a little more engineering active foils could adjust to maintain the optimum hull attitude. A carbon composite wing would provide the best lift or thrust in this case.
With ultra low drag from the hull while on foils it should beat anything in the water powered by wind.
Where composites is really needed is in the car industry. I have a composite body/chassis that is stronger by a fair amount yet weighs just 235lbs, less than 50% of what it would in weaker steel. Sadly only Ferrari, McLaren and a few other high end build them that way.
Saving that 250 lbs tough saved me weight in brakes, wheels, motor, controller, battery pack by 40% or so thus easily make composites worth it to make cost effective EV's as it cuts the EV's cost 30-40% to build for the same performance.
Besides EV's I do windgenerators and boats where I learned composites and how you mix up some stuff, make it into the desired shape, wait a while and you have 2 lb part that can take a 10 ton load.
Sailboats, yachts, major aircraft, and wind turbine blades--all areas where we are seeing huge advances in terms of applying composite materials and development practices to power leading edge designs. Leave it Larry Ellison to back a team that is building what looks to be the biggest and fasting wing-sail on record and to challenge the traditional Ameria's Cup set. Is that really a surprise?
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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