The goal of this project was to establish shipyard use of laser-welded corrugated-core (LASCOR) technology, addressing issues such as material evaluation, structural testing, joint attachment, stud application, manufacturing issues, reparability, application development and demonstration.
Design goals for the CVN 21 class of aircraft carrier call for weight and ship center of gravity reductions. One possible method of weight reduction is to use stiff, lightweight, metallic-sandwich panels called LASCOR panels. However, the design requirements and fabrication experience for using LASCOR panels were not sufficiently developed to use in critical applications. Also, joint and stud attachments to the ship structure, manufacturing fabrication procedures and shipyard repair methods had yet to be established. Manufacturing methods needed to be developed to accommodate these and other ship construction realities.
The viability of the LASCOR technology was demonstrated incrementally. Initial work focused on developing design criteria to validate the design manual and conducting structural tests on subscale and full-size panels, while developing and proving manufacturing methods. Additional work focused on application validation testing and support. Areas such as attachments, joints, static loading, shock, fatigue, structural testing, ballistics, and corrosion were investigated and validated.
The use of LASCOR technology offers a lightweight, stiff, and modular structural steel system to reduce weight and improve performance. It is expected that LASCOR structures will result in a weight reduction of between 15% and 30% over conventionally fabricated structures.
Other potential benefits of LASCOR include reduced life-cycle maintenance costs and increased ship compartment useable volume. Additionally, LASCOR is being designed so that modular fabrication using conventional welding methods can be used to simplify installation. The materials being considered for LASCOR panels have excellent corrosion resistance as well. The technology developed under this project may lead to implementation efforts for applications such as doors, decks, island, and bulkheads.
Initial application development and implementation schedules coincide with CVN 78 construction schedules.
StakeholderLCDR Brian A. Metcalf