COOMERA, QUEENSLAND – Motor yachts are subjected to a vast range of stresses at sea and it is vital that every component is designed and built to withstand these and continue to work efficiently in what are, at times, very challenging environments.
However, a process of building a component and then testing it until it breaks would be incredibly expensive and inefficient.
Riviera’s design team employs Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to model stress in a highly sophisticated virtual environment. So these systems allow the design and engineering teams to test every component before it is even built.
Simply, FEA is a computer-based process used to model complex products and systems and simulate applying force to them.
Using FEA, designers and engineers build a computerised model of a complex product or components and then break it down into smaller sections. This “mesh” can then be analysed by the software to predict how the larger structure will respond to external forces and pressures.
For example, the hull of a motor yacht can be subjected within the computer system to stress right up to breaking point. Equally, individual components within the motor yacht such as the platform that holds the genset can be tested under loads that it could never be expected to reach in reality.
“We use Composites FEA so every different ply of fibreglass and core in the laminate is accurately represented tested to analyse strength and deflection,” said Riviera’s Design and Engineering Manager Dan Henderson.
“The same applies to steel and aluminium components. We want to know – before we begin manufacturing any part of a new motor yacht – whether there is any chance that it could fail. If there is, we can understand where the stresses are occurring and modify our design to counteract the problem.”
As well as being more accurate and allowing every component to be tested, with FEA simulations, the many design iterations of a component are no longer dependent upon a machine shop and manufacturing schedules. Each component can be “virtually” tested in hours instead of waiting days or weeks for an actual piece to be tested. This also allows components to be optimised to remove unnecessary material.
The result is that owners can be assured that every Riviera and Belize motor yacht is capable of withstanding difficult environments.
As Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht owner Jason Squire has said: “Your Riviera is stronger than you are.”