DIAB Divinycell core infusion sailing boat

The University of Padua finds a research partner in Diab

Looking for technical expertise in the area of infusion composites, the Italian university chose Diab materials when constructing a sailing boat for the innovative 1001VELA race.

A winning combination of fun inter-university competition and technical research, 1001VELA was initiated in 2005 by the architects Massimo and Paolo Paperini Procesi. Organized in collaboration first with the University of Rome and later with the University of Palermo, the boat race has become an annual event in which all participating vessels are designed, built and run by university students. The goal is to construct a sailing boat under a number of conditions: the boat must be of limited size, made with accessible technology and fit certain regulations in the choice of materials and total cost.

With the ultimate goal of participating in the 1001VELA race for 2012, the University of Padua set up Project R3. An initiative of former student of mechanical engineering Giacomo Pellicioli and Professor Pierfrancesco Brunello, and under the guidance of project manager Andrea Lazzaretto, the project team decided to construct its boat using composites.

In need of well-recognized expertise in advanced infusion technique, the team approached Diab for advice and materials. The Areté was built in its entirety by the team of the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Padua, using Diab ProBalsaMatrix 7.7 and Divinycell H. A win-win situation, Diab provided the materials free of charge to the University of Padua as part of new product technology trials.

The race took place at the beginning of September 2012 in Mondello, Sicily, with twelve boats from nine Italian universities participating. As the first boat in the competition to be constructed with Diab composite materials, the Areté attracted a lot of attention. Carried by Martina Ciani Bassetti (helmsman) and Matteo Poli (bow), the R3 team came in at an honorable sixth place, and the team is already looking into ways of competing for victory in the 2013 edition of the 1001VELA cup that will take place in La Spezia.

Equally important as the race, however, are the connected conferences, exhibitions and publications. They are open to teachers, students and supporters from all over the world with the purpose of promoting cultural exchanges between universities of Naval Architecture. A leading supplier of composite infusion technology, Diab has a natural place in this meeting of innovative thinking and global cooperation.


Louise Eriksson Jacka
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