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Extended life for the Vasa ship

When the Vasa ship was salvaged and brought ashore in 1961, it had spent 333 years underwater.

The Vasa ship is one of Sweden’s biggest attractions. But the seventeenth century ship is built of wood that is aging. Preventing it from collapsing and losing its shape requires a good support structure. The Vasa Museum has turned to researchers from the Ångström Laboratory in Uppsala for assistance.

The goal is to create a computerised tool that can be used to calculate the type of support required to extend the ship’s life, preserve its shape and minimise movements. “Experience and intuition will not be enough to achieve the task. A calculation tool based on mechanics and measurements is required,” says Kristofer Gamstedt, Professor of Applied Mechanics.

For example, small oak cubes from the Vasa ship have been tested in various experiments. To check the accuracy of the computer model, it will be compared to geodetic position measurements and a laser scan of the whole ship.