Not exactly a start-up but in full commercial ramp-up mode, this little outfit's got big potential
By Ryan Skinner (email)
It wasn't long ago I saw a spooky video showing the twisting and swinging of a (usually) straight corridor running the length of a ship in a storm. To those of us who only the dry, commercial end of the shipping business, seeing how these rigid structures turn fluid in rough seas is, well, unsettling.
And what does a lifetime of these contortions do to steel? Basically, every bulker afloat has a basic, mechanical system to measure lifetime stresses on the hull. A small, research-driven company called Light Structures reinvents this basic task in a way that may significantly extend the lifetime of ships.