Effective sound insulation for Marine & Offshore

HVAC sound insulation solutions

The noise issue in Marine & Offshore applications

Acoustic control is essential in ships and other marine installations to provide passenger comfort and a healthy working environment. Marine & Offshore installations present a range of complex sound issues for the designer due to the nature of the structures and the inclusion of heavy and high velocity moving equipment, such as engines, steerage systems, etc...

Acoustic insulation on board, especially in passenger shipbuilding, has been the subject of continuously rising standards. Acoustic control is critical to provide comfortable travelling conditions for passengers and to reduce the impact of noisy equipment in the working environment. ISOVER insulation products have been developed to provide effective acoustic control in even the most demanding marine & offshore applications.

Noise (or unwanted sound) was declared an environmental pollutant at the 1972 International Conference for the Environment, in Stockholm. It has a wide range of consequences for humans, from reducing comfort (lack of privacy, difficulty in talking / communication) to health problems such as stress, hearing difficulties, and even heart failure.

ISOVER Marine & Offshore acoustic insulation solutions

There is generally no simple, universal solution for noise reduction on a ship.  Solutions can be complex, as some equipment transmits airborne and impact noise simultaneously - motors being a good example. Furthermore, the noise emitted by equipment is related to its operational characteristics, such as power consumption (use of the engine, exes rotation and disbalance also play a role). Solutions will always involve a combination of good design, particularly in relation to equipment specification and vibration damping, and effective insulation products, such as the market leading ISOVER Marine products range.

In recent years, as passenger ships have become faster and more sophisticated, weight has also become a major consideration, and this is now impacting on insulation products. 

The U SeaProtect range provides superior marine acoustic insulation, as well as thermal and fire protection, for a wide range of applications from cruise ships to offshore and OEM marine constructions. It is enabling designers and operators to take a decisive step forward with state-of-the-art- performance that comes at only a fraction of the weight of stone wool high temperature insulation products.

Using a unique patented technology based on 20+ years of R&D, ISOVER developed new-generation ULTIMATE™ mineral wool that combines all advantages of glass wool and stone wool for efficient marine acoustic insulation, as well as fire and thermal insulation.

ULTIMATE™ mineral wool products have excellent sound absorption properties thanks to the unique internal micro-structure of the insulation mats comprising long interwoven fibers. ULTIMATE™ acoustic insulation materials also have higher air-flow resistivity values, from density 24 kg/m3 onwards, compared to other marine stone-wool products. 


How can you achieve even better marine sound insulation results?

Quietude constructions are turnkey solutions for specific areas on board of your ship such as the engine/machinery rooms, discos, theatres, cinemas, designed to achieve high sound reduction performance levels (up to 53-54 dB). These constructions increase sound protection in the critical medium-low frequency range to provide technical solutions that significantly reduce noise levels. 

ISOVER’s quietude sound-barrier insulation is obtained by combining SeaProtect dB-Flex Alu sound protection membrane with other U SeaProtect acoustic insulation materials. This membrane is made from a visco-elastic polymer topped with reinforced Alu facing. By applying this membrane, you can increase the sound protection of a standard SeaProtect construction to 53dB (vs. 48dB). 


  • Significantly enhance noise reduction, by up to 53dB

  • Optimize your thermal and fire protection at the same time with ULTIMATE™ products

  • Install adapted sound-dampening insulation quickly and easily 

How does Sea Protect dB-Flex work?

This acoustic insulation solution is based on the “mass-spring-mass” principle:

Sea Protect dB-Flex Alu plays the role of “mass”, reflecting some of the sound and letting the rest through.

Sound is transmitted to the flexible insulation and U SeaProtect acts as damper absorbing and reducing the amplitude of the acoustic waves.

The steel plate reflects back some of the sound into the insulation, which reabsorbs it;
the sound transmitted to the adjacent room is significantly attenuated.

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Did you know?

Marine installations generate different levels and spectra of sound, depending on the design, installation and equipment power source; this noise can be reduced using ISOVER insulation solutions. Ships and marine installations present problems with both airborne sound and impact sound:


Airborne sound

In addition to human and electrically generated sounds, sound is also generated by heavy equipment, such as engines and steerage systems etc, which is reflected by surrounding surfaces and also transmitted through the metal wall and floor structures to be radiated into the air again on the other side.


Impact (structure-borne) sound

Sound is produced by impacts or shocks to the structure that subsequently produce vibrations which are transmitted through the structural elements. Typical examples of this kind of noise include vibrations produced by operating machinery, which are transmitted through their supports to the main structure.


Addressing these issues with insulation products adds additional weight to the structure, impacting on energy use and vessel speed at sea, the balance between weight and performance must therefore always be considered.