Association Technique Maritime et Aéronautique

Numéro : 2611 - Year : 2011

Use of composite materials in ships: justification of choices by the fire safety designers

Antoine BREUILLARD, BUREAU VERITAS – Division Marine – Département Recherche
François JANVIER, STX Europe


This paper presents the fire safety engineering methodology developed in the French collaborative research project MP08 Fire performance of composites for shipbuilding. The aim of the MP08 project, which ended in October 2010, was to encourage the use of composites onboard ships. The methodology is compliant with maritime regulations currently in force: SOLAS Convention Chapter II-2, regulation 17 Alternative Design and Arrangements for Fire Safety. It is based on a comparative approach which compares the safety level of a construction made up of “alternative” composite materials with the one of a steel construction complying with prescriptive requirements. A special feature of the adopted methodology is that it makes it possible to adapt the protection level to the type of room. In order to limit the number of tests to be carried out, it is necessary to make the comparison by simulation. Therefore this methodology involves having validated simulation tools, even if it is possible to eliminate some bias with a comparative approach.

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