Safety at Sea

February 1, 2008
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VentureClad tape chosen for major marine application.



VentureClad 1577CW-W (white) is a zero-permeability facing system that was used in the engine rooms of a high-speed passenger ferry. It was installed as a finish over a high-temperature ceramic fiber blanket to prevent volatile liquids such as fuel and hydraulic fluids from wicking into the insulation.

Fire at sea is one of the worst disasters imaginable. Escape routes are limited, and a fast-spreading fire can limit them even further. Using noncombustible, heat-restricting materials is critical in boat construction, and the federal government, international regulators, and the United States Coast Guard strictly mandate the types of materials used in shipbuilding.

Anchor Insulation Co. of Rhode Island chose Venture Tape’s VentureCladTM 1577CW®-W (white) when installing SFP in the engine rooms of a new, high-speed passenger ferry built for Bermuda. VentureClad 1577CW, a zero permeability facing system, was used as a finish over a high-temperature ceramic fiber blanket to prevent volatile liquids such as fuel and hydraulic fluids from wicking into the insulation.

“VentureClad 1577CW is SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) approved and meets the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) fire safety standards,” said Venture Tape Corp.’s Andrew Petrone. “This is the first time VentureClad 1577CW, which underwent rigorous structural fire protection testing, has been used for a marine application.”

The facing system also has certification from Lloyd’s of London - one of world’s largest insurers. The product meets Lloyd’s finish code, a requirement for a ship of this class design.

Even products like adhesives have to be approved by the United States Coast Guard, which oversees safety and lifesaving standards on passenger-carrying vessels. The use of VentureClad facing system as a lining is USCG-approved.

“It is a requirement that the products for ship construction are USCG CFR 164.112 tested and approved,” said Anchor Insulation Vice President Eric Fiske.

Anchor Insulation installers have used Venture Tape products in the past at other major job sites, including Foxwoods Casino and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Fiske said. “So, when it came down to finding a product that we could work with that met the stringent requirements needed for ship construction - and had the necessary certifications - we chose VentureClad 1577CW,” he says.

Speeding Installation

According to Susan Mortgue, project manager for Derecktor Shipyard, the Groton, CT, firm that built the ferry, VentureClad worked well for this particular application because it was flexible.

“In the past, we’ve used material like mastic and added vinyl adhesive to it,” she said. “Venture Clad worked well because of the complexity of the structure we were insulating. It was easy to overlap the insulation over the stiffeners, all of which needed to be insulated and wrapped. We were able to put VentureClad over everything, including the pins, leaving no seams or gaps. There was no need to go over the insulation with mastic or something fabricated.”

According to Fiske, VentureClad was much faster and easier to install than other products. “VentureClad 1577CW is washable and wipeable, and because of its peel and stick configuration, it was easy to use,” Fiske said. “When we order products from suppliers, it usually takes 7-10 days to process, followed by fabricating, which adds to the product and production costs and requires extra time. But in this case, we purchased the product directly from the distributor and were ready to go.”

Corrosion Prevention

Another important criterion for insulation products used in these conditions is zero permeability. “This is a critical application because the product’s job is to serve as a vapor barrier,” Mortgue said. “It is important because you don’t want corrosive materials such as salt water or exhaust to penetrate the insulation. If captured, they could cause corrosion under the insulation, which is something you really want to avoid. This is a risk in any damp situation but particularly true for aluminum vessels such as this ferry.”

Hydraulic fluids and oils are particularly vulnerable to leaking because they are under pressure, so the use of products that offer zero permeability is critical to safety as well as corrosion prevention.

“If a product solves a problem, you are helping your customers,” Fiske said. “Every insulator or fabricator, as well as the product manufacturer, is part of the overall team. Venture Tape is good at working with customers to bring new products like this into niche markets that benefit everyone. In this case, it’s not only about quality and costs, but also about safety and fire prevention in a critical application.

“We like to use the best-engineered products in all our jobs, but in shipbuilding, the use of noncombustible, heat-restricting materials is essential. There are no fire departments out at sea,” Fiske said.

For more information about VentureClad, phone Venture Tape at (800) 343-1076.

For more information about Anchor Insulation, phone (800) 739-3111.

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