The world's tallest carbon composite free standing masts

Magma Structures have delivered the world's tallest carbon composite free standing masts. Manufactured at the company's waterside facility near Portsmouth, UK, the masts have taken over three years to engineer, develop, test and build using advanced composite manufacturing processes.

The rigs, designed by Dykstra Naval Architects, are designed to withstand bending loads of more than 40Mn; more than twice the load on a Boeing Dreamliner wing. The masts support a sail area greater than a standard sized football pitch, with full automation in terms of sail deployment, setting and reefing.

Although unconfirmed, we believe the masts are going to be fitted on project White Pearl, the 147 metre sailing yacht under construction at Nobiskrug.

Clive Johnson, Managing Director of Magma Structures commented, "These rigs are amongst the most technically challenging free-standing carbon composite structures to have been manufactured due to their size, design load requirements and the marine environment in which they will be used. The skills developed and experience gained from building these rigs are already having a direct impact on projects we are developing in other sectors including composite bridges, stadia and buildings where the benefits of manufacturing in composites can be signficant."

Damon Roberts, Technical Advisor to the project noted, "The high strength, fatigue restistant nature of carbon has been the key in enabling us to develop and manufacture a free-standing structure much larger than anything currently built, including the current generation of wind turbine blades, and with much higher bending loads. The embedded fibre optic monitoring data is invaluable in giving us real-time data to optimize the sailing performance as well as verify the design concepts and give us load case data to minimize the maintenance."

By Maarten Janssen

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