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Materials
Safety

Eurofins knows marine structures and materials

article picture: Eurofins knows marine structures and materials

Pushed by innovation and technological advances, marine industry is constantly evolving – and this is reflected by the new materials and structures that are featured on new vessels. However, as maritime requirements differ a great deal from regular construction, extensive testing is needed before new solutions are deemed seaworthy.

Eurofins Expert Services Oy has a wealth of knowledge in all testing and certification related to marine industries. Heli Välimäki from Eurofins Expert Services Oy says that fire testing, has been conducted for almost half a century in Espoo and organized seminars related to fire safety in ships.

“VTT, earlier owner of the Eurofins Expert Services Oy, was involved with developing of the previous Fire Test Code during the 90’s in Espoo, Finland,” she says.

Today, fire safety testing and approvals for materials and components used in ships, are a key part of the company’s marine offering. Eurofins Expert Services offers testing of flame spreading properties, smoke production, non-combustibility, heat of combustion/calorific value, fire safety of curtain materials, upholstered furniture and bedding components as well as resistance to fire testing of marine constructions.

Changes Come Slowly?

Regulations relating to the fire safety of ships are SOLAS-based, and the fire test procedures themselves are presented in Fire Test Procedure Code of International Maritime Organization (IMO).

“With regards to certification, things change slowly and new innovations, in form of structures and materials, take time to root,” says Välimäki.

In Europe, materials and components are covered by the Marine Equipment Directive 2014/90/EU and must be affixed with Wheelmark. “We have offered wheelmark services for 20 years, since it became possible,” says Välimäki.

Ville Grönvall from Eurofins is the expert who in charge of fire resistance testing of marine structures. He says that architects are keen on delivering a certain WOW effect aboard ships, and they often experiment with new types of structures to accomplish this.

“Frequently it is glass structures that add that visually striking element, and we must test them to make sure that they’re safe in all regards.”

3D Printing is The Future?

Jere Heikkinen is a Eurofins materials expert who notes that as manufacturers come up with new materials, they are naturally interested in finding marine applications for them.

“However, the fire safety requirements are so strict that not all new materials can make it,” he says, adding that for instance 3D printed products still have their share of hurdles to overcome.

“For customers, it sometimes comes as a surprise how tough the marine regulations can be on materials.” Still, the need for lighter, composite materials is evident on ships.

Aboard cruise ships, another factor is sound-proofing which has a lot of potential on the materials side, believes Heikkinen.

eurofins expert services, logo

Eurofins Expert Services is part of the Eurofins Group. The company offers versatile expert services, certification and product approval services, testing and inspection services.

Eurofins Expert Services provides services both for national and international customers of private and public sector. It operates with 200 professionals in Espoo, Tampere, Vihti and Salo. The turnover is around EUR 21,5.

Read more: www.eurofins.fi/expertservices/en/

Text by: Sami J. Anteroinen

Photo by: Eurofins Expert Services Oy

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