Steel plate for shipbuilding developed by the Japanese steel giant Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC) has been used on a ship launched recently by Mitsui OSK Lines.

The product in question is NSafe-Hull and was designed by NSSMC to improve collision safety, thanks to its high ductility. It found its way on to the Mitsui OSK ship as a result of collaborative research and development between NSSMC, the Imabari Shipbuilding Co and the National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI).

According to NSSMC, NSafe-Hull offers excellent ductility while maintaining the workability of conventional steels. According to the Japanese steelmaker, the energy absorbed in a side-on collision could be roughly triple that of conventional steel. With this in mind, claims the company, NSafe-Hull increases ship durability.

Approximately 3kt of NSafe-Hull was used on the aforementioned Mitsui OSK ship 'for structural parts where high collision safety performance was required, such as the side plates of the cargo holds and fuel tanks'.

NSSMC claims that if the NSafe-Hull product is used for a ship's structure it can prevent oil leakage and/or ingress of water into cargo holds, reducing incidents of cargo damage should the ship capsize.