Scott Bader recently announced that Umoe Schat-Harding Equipment AS (USH) has achieved another freefall record for its rapid evacuation freefall (FF) class lifeboats with a lifeboat bonded with Crystic® Crestomer® structural adhesive. The 65.1-m drop took place in May by USH’s updated and improved FF1200 fiber glass lifeboat. The drop test is part of a revised DNV-OS-E406 standard for freefall lifeboats used in the Norwegian offshore sector.

To fully validate the freefall drop test, the FF1200 lifeboat was internally loaded with seven tons to simulate its maximum harnessed seated capacity of 70 people in an actual emergency drop evacuation from an offshore installation, such as an oil rig. The lifeboat passed the reportedly more stringent DNV-OS-E406 standard for a freefall lifeboat. On impact with the surface of the water, the nose section has to withstand an estimated force of 45 tons. After impact, the lifeboat fully submerges to a depth of over 10 m before resurfacing. The latest FF1200 design is reportedly the first freefall lifeboat to successfully pass all the full-scale tests set by the new requirements in the revised DNV-OS-E406 standard. 

The lifeboat reportedly has fiber glass-reinforced and cored laminate structures for its hull, top section and canopy. To increase shop floor productivity and improve the impact performance of the lifeboat’s GRP body, a number of design modifications were made, including the increased use of Crystic Crestomer structural adhesive for GRP-to-GRP bonding. In the latest FF1200 design, Crestomer 1152PA is not only specified for bonding in bulkheads, but also for the hull stringers and to join the GRP interliners and canopy to the main hull section. The adhesive is applied using automated bulk dispensing equipment and pneumatic hand guns. 

“The Crestomer range gives us opportunities to increase our speed of production and at the same time keeping the quality of our lifeboats to the highest standards set by the offshore industry,” said Arvid Skogseide, factory manager, Schat-Harding. “Scott Bader and its unique structure with commonwealth ownership, excellent products and their focus on innovation gives us full confidence in both product performance and a solid supplier relationship.” 

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