ASTM F2016-00(2018): Shipbuilding Quality Requirements

Big commercial ship's hull structure getting constructed adhering to ASTM F2016-00(2018).

The shipbuilding industry is thousands of years old and has transformed from canoes and rafts made from tree bark, reeds, and logs of wood to today’s vast modern commercial ships, with the largest container ship in the world having a capacity of 24,346 TEU (twenty foot-equivalent unit). ASTM F2016-00(2018): Standard Practice For Establishing Shipbuilding Quality Requirements For Hull Structure, Outfitting, And Coatings provides criteria for the three primary phases of ship construction, that is, hull structure, outfitting, and coating.

What Is ASTM F2016-00?

ASTM F2016-00(2018) consists of three annexes—hull structure, outfitting, and coating—that make up the primary phases of commercial shipbuilding. It provides workmanship criteria to be applied to commercial shipbuilding or ship repair, or both.  The standard criteria are intended to apply to conventional, commercial ship construction. In many cases, specialized, nonconventional vessels using nonstandard materials or built-to-serve sole requirements may require unique acceptance criteria that are beyond those provided in this practice.

Specific criteria to be selected from the standard should be as contractually agreed between the ship owner and shipbuilder. Classification rules, regulatory requirements, and ship specifications all help to define an acceptable level of construction quality; however, the guidance in ASTM F2016-00(2018) alone is not sufficient. It is up to the shipbuilder, therefore, to describe the level of workmanship sufficiently that will be reflected in the delivered ship, and for the ship owner to communicate his expectations effectively for the final product.

The Earliest Sailing Boats

The first ships were basic rafts and canoes, but with the critical invention of the sail—which lets wind power do all the work to propel the ship forward rather than human muscle alone—ships could travel further and for longer. The earliest record of a ship under sail is depicted on an Egyptian vase from about 3500 BC. These boats had masts, sails and oars; they were about 100 meters and quite durable.

Dependent on the Nile for travel, the ancient Egyptians used their ships, mostly made of papyrus reeds, to trade spices, gold, wood, and other goods with other countries around the Mediterranean. Further, relief carvings show that the boats were also used for transporting obelisks (i.e., pillars erected at entrances of temples) on the river Nile from Upper Egypt. Since these boats were used in the Nile, rowing was required when winds were not dependable. They had a single square sail and a row of oarsmen.  

Self-Propelling Boats

Technology is improving so ships can propel themselves, meaning that by means of its permanent propulsion and steering, the self-propelled seagoing vessel has all the characteristics of self-navigability on the high seas. While paddles and sails are still used on some smaller boats, most modern ships are propelled by mechanical systems consisting of an electric motor or internal combustion engine driving a propeller, or less frequently, in pump-jets, an impeller. Self-propelling ships could also be a greener alternative for transportation because these boats can be all-electric, thereby drastically cutting down on CO2 emissions.

With the shipping industry contributing to 3.3% in global CO2 emissions and the maritime industry contributing to over 90% of shipping all around the world (and 2.89% of global GHG emissions), the International Maritime Organization has adopted short-term measures to reduce the carbon intensity of all ships by 50% by 2050. A means to achieve this target is the utilization of propulsion systems powered by sustainable energy, such as using electric propulsion ships loaded with batteries, and next-generation marine fuels such as hydrogen, ammonia and biofuel. Furthermore, the use of wind and solar power is also being considered as a hybrid propulsion system integrated with conventional diesel-powered vessels to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Although the shipbuilding industry is thousands of years old, it is still being modernized and enhanced today as seen with shipbuilding standards like ASTM F2016-00(2018).ASTM F2016-00(2018): Standard Practice For Establishing Shipbuilding Quality Requirements For Hull Structure, Outfitting, And Coatings is available on the ANSI Webstore

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