Fireproof laminate saves weight

A fireproofing laminate manufactured in Timra, Sweden, could bring major savings to offshore platform operators.

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A fireproofing laminate manufactured in Timra, Sweden, could bring major savings to offshore platform operators. Recore-S laminate achieves an optimum combination of low weight, stiffness, and hardness that can also offer high levels of fire proofing.

Recore laminate consists of reinforced glass fiber that includes a fire-resistant bonding agent. The reinforcement results in a product with a very low weight, but which is also easy to machine and customize. The company's first product, Recore-M, incorporates a melamine foam claimed to be suitable for a wide range of demanding environments and designs. It was first introduced in 1986 and since has been used in applications such as the construction of railway carriages. The nature of the manufacturing process ensures that the glass fiber is homogeneously mixed throughout the laminate that, when finished, consists of 70% to 80% air. The result is light weight with exceptional rigidity. This makes it particularly suitable for applications such as ducting, as it does not require the same amount of support mountings needed for conventional materials.

The newer Recore-S laminate incorporates a sodium silicate foam that makes it highly fire resistant. It can insulate against temperatures of 900° C at a heat transfer rate of less than 1 mm/min. Certified by Det Norske Veritas, it is available in panels measuring up to 4 ft by 8 ft.

Due to its inherent strength and structural integrity, it can be used by itself as a construction material or combined with other materials to obtain additional properties. It can be laminated with aluminum or plastic as well as with textiles and carpets to achieve desired decorative effects.

Because it is easy to shape and machine, it is particularly suitable for use in doors, air ducts, and ceilings, which have become its principal applications so far. The weight savings available through its use are illustrated by the fact that 2 mm of Recore will offer the same structural integrity as 1 mm of steel but at a fraction of the weight. Because it can be molded to suit specific requirements, Recore is also claimed to reduce construction costs. It has been calculated that the light weight of the Recore-S laminate, if used by a builder of cruise liners, could achieve weight savings that would enable an additional 50 cabins. The ease with which it can be laminated with other materials also makes it possible to add sound-proofing characteristics, if desired.

When Recore is compared with mineral wool as an insulating material, the most significant advantage arises from its complete structural integrity. Mineral wool can only be used in conjunction with steel, which is much heavier.

For more information, contact Bengt Andersson, Recore. Tel: +46 60 67 1230, fax: +46 60 53 6871, email: bengt.andersson@recore-online.com.

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Recore panels used for internal door manufacture combine a decorative appearance with light weight, fire resistance, and structural strength.
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