Hydro-elastic analysis and optimization of a composite marine propeller

José Pedro Albergaria Amaral Blasques, Christian Berggreen, Poul Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The present paper addresses the design and optimization of a flexible composite marine propeller. The aim is to tailor the laminate to control the deformed shape of the blade and consequently the developed thrust. The development of a hydro-elastic model is presented, and the laminate lay-up which minimizes the fuel consumption for the cruising and maximum speed conditions is simultaneously determined. Results show a reduction of 1.25% in fuel consumption for the combined case corresponding to a decrease of 4.7% in the cruising speed condition. Finally, the strength of the optimal blade is analyzed using the Tsai-Wu strength index. After local tailoring of the laminate configuration throughout the propeller a maximum value of 0.7 is determined indicating no failure will occur under normal operation conditions. The results suggest that it is possible to design a medium-sized flexible composite marine propeller that will enable a reduction of the fuel consumption while withstanding the imposed loads.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Structures
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)22-38
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Strength analysis
  • Marine propellers
  • Optimization
  • Hydro-elastic
  • Composite


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