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 functions. 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 just 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-Velocity Crafts. FReD panels are flat honeycomb panels with intumescent mineral fiber mat utilized to at least one facet. The warmth of a hearth causes the mat to broaden 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 functions prior to now, which is why we have been very to work with them,” says Becker. “Nevertheless, present fireplace guidelines are extra stringent than any mats TFP had certified for to this point, so TFP needed to develop a brand new answer.”
The 2 firms started discussions in Might 2019 with a aim of assembly a good timeframe 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 easy crusing.
TFP visited AYRES’ Cell, Ala., manufacturing facility to study concerning the firm’s manufacturing processes whereas AYRES’ engineers traveled to the TFP facility in Burneside, U.Okay., to witness the mat manufacturing and study concerning 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 capable of modify the development to enhance outcomes. In January 2020, AYRES and TFP held in-depth discussions concerning the checks and methods to enhance the outcomes. By the top 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 satisfy insulation necessities within the required timeframe with out TFP’s technical and manufacturing experience,” says Becker. “We have been below plenty of strain to have our geese in a row to be chosen for a particular Incat vessel construct. Whereas preliminary failure all the time hurts, perseverance pays off.”
The redesigned FRP panel incorporates a 12mm thick aluminum honeycomb, handled in opposition to saltwater corrosion, as a core materials. “Whereas one would possibly suppose that aluminum isn’t preferrred 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 way of and flame unfold and to supply insulation from the warmth of combustion.