Serviced by every kind of mechanical system, modern ships, including super cruise liners and oil and gas FPSO vessels, are more advanced than almost any land based hotel or factory. The complete range of services are present, from space heating through air-conditioning all the way to full scale refrigeration plants for food storage and even for on-board ice rinks! Mechanical services offshore present the same challenges for technical insulation as those onshore with several additional considerations.
Fire and smoke are more important issues at sea and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) recognises this by setting its own fire tests. These tests are recognised worldwide and incorporate measures to determine smoke density and toxicity. Before an insulation can be used offshore it must first pass all relevant IMO tests.
Offshore insurance underwriters, notably Lloyds Register, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Bureau Veritas, use the results given by IMO tests to then issue material approvals allowing the use of insulation on-board large ships and vessels.
Insulation should be present on mechanical services offshore that, in order to prevent condensation, energy loss and pipe corrosion, is able to demonstrate the following attributes: