Shipbuilding is a strategic sector that is transforming faster than ever before. As naval architects, ship owners, installers and insulation suppliers, we constantly face new challenges and opportunities – from reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 to meeting more demanding regulations and use of digital tools for maintenance, navigation or design. While user comfort demands are greater than ever, sustainability, safety and digital solutions are increasingly shaping the choices we make and the way we work.
What is Marine Insulation?
Marine insulation is a pillar for enhancing comfort, safety, and efficiency in the maritime industry. At Saint-Gobain Technical Insulation, we seek to create insulation solutions that perfectly meet the specific and challenging requirements of the marine sector. Our insulation solutions not only offer exceptional thermal performance and energy efficiency, but also provide fire protection. Adapting to each of your projects, our marine insulation solutions improve comfort on board, guarantee safety in the event of an emergency, and contribute to environmental sustainability.
Vessels we can help you insulate
- Passenger ship: Ferries, yachts, and cruise ships regardless of size or destination
- Deep sea & short sea ships: Transport vessels such as container ships, LNG carriers, tankers, bunkers
- Navy and government ships: Military ship and specific requirements
- Fishing vessels: Commercial fishing boats and ships of any size and format
- Offshore & wind energy: Offshore platforms – floating or fixed – as well as wind energy installations
Areas of use for our marine insulation solutions
- Public rooms: Acoustic ceilings, acoustic flooring, draught stop, linings, suspended ceilings
- Main structures: Bulkhead, corrugated bulkheads, decks, fire doors, hull
- Technical equipment: Exposed surfaces, High/low temperature equipment
- HVAC system: Exhaust ducts, main ducts, piping, Sea CLIMAVER®
- Engine room: Chimneys, exposed surfaces, high/low temperature equipment, tanks
- Cabins: acoustic floor, cabin doors, cabin ducts, cabin walls, suspended ceilings, wall extensions
Enhancing passenger comfort and safety
Achieving ideal thermal comfort on passenger ships, like ferries and cruises, is vital. Our high-performance insulation reduces heat loss, ensuring comfort and energy savings. Our U SeaProtect® solutions offer superior thermal insulation, delivering the same performance with thinner, lighter materials, compared to conventional stone wool insulation. Besides this, noise directly affects the comfort of passengers and the crew and can even have repercussions on health, causing sleep disorders and even hearing damage. Enhancing acoustic comfort is therefore crucial for the well-being of passengers and crew.
Finally, ship owners and naval architects must prioritize the fire safety of passengers and crew. Non-combustible and fire-resistant insulation plays a key role in fire prevention and containment strategies, so important in maritime projects. Our solutions comply with the latest IMO regulations and are regularly assessed for their fire safety performance.
While the Marine & Offshore sector has faced criticism for its environmental impact, led by the IMO, the industry is now committed to positive change and addressing issues like air and water pollution and high CO2 emissions. Building lighter, well-insulated ships and offshore platforms reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Opting for insulation products with recycled content helps reducing the use of natural resources. Giving top priority to safe products protects the health of passengers and crew. We focus on weight, waste, and energy efficiency throughout the lifecycle of our products, rigorously testing them to meet demanding standards.
Committed to sustainable growth
As part of this accelerating ecological transition, Saint-Gobain integrates values into its business model for responsible and sustainable development, including in the Marine and Offshore sector. Our global maritime experts provide innovative products and services to minimize environmental impact in ships, offshore vessels, and platforms.
Contribute to energy savings and reduction of emissions
The energy consumption of ships considerably impacts the environment. We address this with solutions like the U SeaProtect® range, up to 45% lighter than traditional stone wool! As well as contributing to fuel savings once the vessel is underway, U SeaProtect® is compressible and very resilient, limiting the need for storage space and reducing transport emissions in the construction phase. Another important aspect: for cruise ships, HVAC represents up to 35% of the total energy consumption. Our insulation solutions lower HVAC energy needs while maintaining passenger comfort and cutting operating costs.
Reducing the environmental impact of our products
In the past decade, we've reduced our energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 20% and water consumption by 50%. We strive to minimize raw material use throughout the product lifecycle, emphasizing recycling and renewable resources for sustainability.
Thermal & acoustic comfort
In a sustainable ship, thermal comfort extends beyond temperature control to keep crew and passengers warm while saving energy.
We’ve created the ideal balance between comfort and energy efficiency, by focusing on ambient temperature and humidity.
It is an essential aspect of the ship design process, particularly for overnight accommodation units. This involves both an efficient HVAC system and insulation with low thermal conductivity. We invented a new kind of stone wool with our ULTIMATE™ light stone wool which is the base material of all our U SeaProtect® solutions. It combines low thermal transmittance, acoustic comfort, and fire protection.
Insulation plays an important role in reducing unwanted noise to create a healthier and more enjoyable experience on any kind of vessel. Controlling sound and vibrations is crucial in ship design, especially for passenger ships where comfort is given the highest priority. Noise, defined as unwanted sound, can have various negative effects (ranging from sleep disturbances to mood changes, aggression, and long-term hearing damage), making it an environmental nuisance. Our specialists have developed optimized acoustic insulation solutions with sound absorption levels equivalent to traditional stone wool, but in the form of much lighter products.
U SeaProtect® solutions, with their "elastic" characteristics, also improve sound insulation. Unlike traditional stone wool products, which may contain up to 40% unfiberized particles, ULTIMATE™ stone wool is 100% fiberized. This results in excellent sound protection with lower density while also providing enhanced fire protection and thermal insulation.
Did you know...?
Contrary to common belief, heavier and denser insulation isn’t necessarily better at reducing noise. Sound reduction depends mainly on factors like airflow resistivity and thickness, especially for porous materials like mineral wool. U SeaProtect® products, with a density of 36 kg/m3 or higher, offer even superior airflow resistivity compared to traditional stone wool!
Ensuring fire safety at sea is crucial, particularly because it can be difficult for emergencies to reach isolated locations. We prioritize fire safety in ship design, meeting strict standards, including fireproof insulation. To prevent fire from spreading, horizontal and vertical divisions like ceilings, walls, windows and doors need to resist fire as effectively as possible. The insulation should withstand fire without forming flames or emitting hot gases on the unexposed side.
Our U SeaProtect® range is made of our innovative ULTIMATE™ stone wool offering thinner and lighter fire insulation. All U SeaProtect® products comply with International Maritime Organization regulations and are tested for non-combustibility and surface flammability under the FTP code. This includes our specialized facings and tapes for bulkheads, linings, decks, ceilings, and floors.
For any kind of vessel, choose from a wide range of fire-rated solutions certified according to stringent IMO tests.
Installation & Logistics
Insulating in complex vessel and offshore platform environments can be tough and time-consuming. Proper insulation enhances thermal, acoustic, and fire safety performance, while easy installation lowers costs. U SeaProtect® solutions, in use for over 15 years, are supplied to major shipyards worldwide, including cruise ship builders like Meyer Werft, Fincantieri, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Damen, and Hyundai Heavy Industry. They appreciate all the installation and logistic benefits offered by U SeaProtect®.
Install faster, easier and more cost-effectively
U SeaProtect® solutions, made of lightweight, compressible stone wool with long, fine fibers, are up to 45% lighter than traditional stone wool. They offer easy installation, save time and cost. U SeaProtect® is as flexible as glass wool, making it ideal for wrapping complex forms without edge breaks. U SeaProtect® products adapt to various geometries and installation methods.
They easily bend over stiffener heads, simplifying installation, especially with the Quick-Cover System. Or, for the Wrap Installation Method, U SeaProtect® products bend around corners and odd shapes without breaking, enhancing the insulation system's performance in fire safety, sound protection, and thermal insulation with ease.
Reduce space during transport and storage
During transportation and storage, every extra kilogram means more costs and more emissions. That’s why opting for efficient, lightweight, and highly compressible insulation materials is so important. As U SeaProtect® solutions are up to 45% lighter than traditional stone wool, this reduces transportation and storage costs - less manpower and fewer operations are required, and more products can be loaded into each truck. U SeaProtect® mats can also be compressed into rolls during packaging without losing their mechanical properties. This is a significant advantage in terms of space, which is often critical for shipbuilding projects.
Our insulation solutions for the maritime industry
U SeaProtect®: prioritizing fire safety
Designed to meet your fire protection requirements, the U SeaProtect® range comprises 3 different formats – rolls, slabs and wired mats – that are available in different densities and thicknesses, as well as a wide choice of adapted facings. With excellent fire protection properties,
U SeaProtect® products are non-combustible, have low surface flammability and can resist fire for up to 2 hours. The facings are classified as low flame spread. U SeaProtect® also offers thinner fire insulation. In fact, to cope with limited space on board, our latest insulation solutions for A-Class steel divisions provide thin insulation (20 mm) with outstanding thermo-acoustic performance. U SeaProtect® solutions are up to 45% lighter than traditional stone wool alternatives. Our Full Comfort solutions also provide the highest levels of thermal and acoustic protection.