Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Mozafari, H.; Distefano, F.; Epasto, G.; Gu, L.; Linul, E.; Crupi, V. Design of an Innovative Hybrid Sandwich Protective Device for Offshore Structures. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10, 1385. 10.3390/jmse10101385


Open access.


Lightweight foam sandwich structures have excellent energy absorption capacity, combined with good mechanical properties and low density. The main goal of this study is to test the application of an innovative hybrid sandwich protective device in an offshore wind turbine (OWT). The results are useful for offshore structure applications. Different lightweight materials (aluminum foam, agglomerated cork, and polyurethane foam) were investigated using experimental tests and numerical simulations. Closed-cell aluminum foam showed the best performance in terms of the energy absorption capacity during an impact. As such, a Metallic Foam Shell (MFS) device was proposed for the fender of offshore wind turbines. A finite element model of a ship-OWT collision scenario was developed to analyze the response of a fender with the MFS device under repeated impacts. The proposed MFS fender can be used efficiently in a wide temperature range, allowing it to be used in harsh climatic conditions.