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Fire testing of external combustible ship surfaces

Evegren F., Rahm M., Arvidson M. and Hertzberg T., 2014. Fire testing of external combustible ship surfaces. Fire Safety Science 11: 905-918. 10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.11-905


Reduced weight makes use of fiber reinforced polymer composite desirable in maritime construction applications. Exterior ship surfaces in combustible materials are although not covered by fire safety regulations and their fire protection is therefore a key issue. This paper reports how SP FIRE 105, a standardized test method for testing reaction to fire properties of façade systems, was adjusted and used to evaluate the potential for fire growth on external combustible ship surfaces; in particular fiber reinforced polymer composite surfaces protected with active or passive measures. The trials show that the test method is highly suitable but that some adjustments could be made to reduce uncertainties; in particular to use a gas burner instead of a heptane pool fire source and to add a strong criterion for when to activate active measures. Further efforts should also be made to develop suitable performance criteria, which were suggested to be based on the produced heat and the gas temperatures at the top of the panel.


test method, FRP composite, fire protection, external surfaces, fire growth, fire spread

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