When Incat Tasmania, a builder of high-speed ships for business ferry operators and militaries, was experiencing issues with their provider of structural fireplace safety (SFP) panels, the corporate reached out to AYRES Composite Panels to develop and qualify a brand new SFP system for marine purposes. AYRES took on the redesign of the panels for insulating the construction of aluminum ships with an eye fixed towards serving to the ship builder save weight and scale back prices.
“Most lately, Incat had been utilizing a fiber mat pressed into boards with a tough ceramic going through. The board was comparatively heavy, and the going through was simply broken throughout set up and in service,” says Christoph Becker, Group CEO of AYRES Composite Panels, a world producer of light-weight honeycomb panels for marine interiors headquartered in Bayswater, Western Australia.
AYRES named its new panels FReD, which derives from the Worldwide Maritime Group’s Hearth-Resisting Divisions in its security codes for Excessive-Pace Crafts. FReD panels are flat honeycomb panels with intumescent mineral fiber mat utilized to at least one aspect. The warmth of a fireplace causes the mat to develop right into a steady thick blanket, insulating the assist panel and ship construction.
AYRES collaborated with Technical Fibre Merchandise (TFP), a provider of the intumescent fiber mat, to develop the FReD panels. “TFP had been supplying a mat for related purposes up to now, which is why we have been very to work with them,” says Becker. “Nonetheless, present fireplace guidelines are extra stringent than any mats TFP had certified for so far, so TFP needed to develop a brand new answer.”
The 2 corporations started discussions in Could 2019 with a aim of assembly a decent time-frame of July 2020 to develop, check and qualify the panels earlier than putting in them in an Incat vessel. But it surely wasn’t all clean crusing.
TFP visited AYRES’ Cell, Ala., manufacturing facility to be taught in regards to the firm’s manufacturing processes whereas AYRES’ engineers traveled to the TFP facility in Burneside, U.Ok., to witness the mat manufacturing and be taught in regards to the required bodily and efficiency parameters of the mats. TFP manufactured a run of mats and AYRES constructed the FReD panels, however the preliminary outcomes failed insulation and safety checks.
By instantly observing how the failures occurred, AYRES was in a position to modify the development to enhance outcomes. In January 2020, AYRES and TFP held in-depth discussions in regards to the checks and methods to enhance the outcomes. By the tip of February, a brand new design efficiently met the Worldwide Maritime Group’s stringent insulation and fireplace suppression check necessities.
“It will not have been doable to fulfill insulation necessities within the required timeframe with out TFP’s technical and manufacturing experience,” says Becker. “We have been underneath a whole lot of stress to have our geese in a row to be chosen for a selected Incat vessel construct. Whereas preliminary failure all the time hurts, perseverance pays off.”
The redesigned FRP panel contains a 12mm thick aluminum honeycomb, handled in opposition to saltwater corrosion, as a core materials. “Whereas one would possibly assume that aluminum isn’t splendid for thermal insulation, a non-metallic honeycomb would have been too costly. We depend on the mineral fiber mat to supply the required insulation that protects the panel,” says Becker.
The intumescent mats are manufactured from excessive temperature-resistant mineral fibers, that are then built-in into the composite construction to impart built-in resistance to burn by and flame unfold and to supply insulation from the warmth of combustion.