Finish & Furnishing Materials

 

Finish and furnishing materials may be submitted for approval under two different regulatory standards:  1) Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) or 2) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).  The structural fire protection material approved under SOLAS standards may be used on U.S. flag vessels going on either international or domestic voyages.  Those materials approved to the standards in 46 CFR are restricted for use on U.S. flag vessels that only operate on domestic voyages.  While the two systems use different test standards, the tests must be performed by an independent testing laboratoryacceptable to the U.S. Coast Guard for those tests.  If the material meets the appropriate test criteria and follow-up services to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard, the manufacturer will be provided with a Certificate of Approval; the approval will also be listed on the Coast Guard’s Approved Equipment website which is updated on a weekly basis: http://cgmix.uscg.mil/Equipment/.  This information is used by shipyards and others in specifying/selecting approved materials for ship construction. 

In addition, there are fire protection materials and arrangements that are not specifically covered by the CFR or SOLAS, but do have to meet a safety standard to be installed on board a Coast Guard inspected vessel.  See RELATED FIRE PROTECTION MATERIALS for more information on this.

Navigation and Vessels Inspection Circulars (NVICs)
The Coast Guard periodically issues NVICs.  These documents, while not regulations themselves, are intended to explain the regulations and provide guidance as well as examples of accepted constructions.  NVIC 9-97 (replaces NVIC 6-80) explains the Coast Guard’s structural fire protection program in greater detail.

The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval. Product testing must be performed by a Coast Guard Accepted or Recognized Independent Laboratory.

Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to TypeApproval@uscg.mil.  Please see What to submit when corresponding with ENG-4 regarding equipment approvals/renewal.  For files sizes above 10MB and less than 8GB you may submit correspondence via the ARL Secure Access File Exchange (SAFE) at https://safe.arl.army.mil/

Once the equipment has been approved by this office, it will receive Coast Guard Type Approval and a Certificate of Approval (COA). The COA will be issued for 5 years and will remain valid during that time period if the product meets the testing of the Quality Control Program

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APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  SOLAS requires prototypes of typical continuous ceiling panel systems to be tested in accordance with the FTP Code to ensure that their construction meets the requirements for B-Class divisions.  The FTP Code requires all ceiling panel materials to be tested for non-combustibility under Annex 1, Part 1 except that adhesives used in the panel construction may have low flame spread characteristics when tested to Part 5 of the FTP Code rather than meeting non-combustibility criteria.  The panels are then tested for fire resistance under Annex 1, Part 3, Appendix 2.  Decorative surface finishes must be tested separately under Parts 2 and 5 of the FTP Code.

The ceiling test procedure differs from the standard deck test protocol, because the FTP Code requires the ceiling to be mounted in a horizontal furnace on top of simulated bulkheads at least 150 mm high to evaluate the proposed bulkhead/ceiling joint.  If the ceiling is intended to include lighting fixtures, ventilation system hardware or electrical fittings, a second test must be conducted with representative samples of these devices installed in the test specimen.

Continuous ceilings may also be used as a component in A-60 deck construction when certain criteria are met. The fire test is normally conducted with the ceiling suspended below a steel deck in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.  The distance between the steel plate simulating a steel deck in the test furnace and the continuous ceiling below is considered to be the minimum separation distance for actual shipboard installations.  Temperature measurements are made on top of the ceiling to determine compliance with B-15 criteria and on top of the steel deck to determine compliance with A-60 insulation criteria.

Each approval for a continuous ceiling is an approval of a specific design. Extrapolation of the data for application to other designs is not acceptable.  Additional ceiling designs require additional fire tests.

The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

This item can be approved under the US/EC MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA).

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval of the equipment.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Laboratory is in place
  • Typical installation details showing dimensions, suspension system hardware and required joint details, based on the fire tests
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  This is the basic specification for most material approvals. Noncombustible materials may be used anywhere in vessel construction without limitation. Approval certificates are issued under this category after samples of the material successfully meet the fire test criteria. This requires inserting material samples into a small electric furnace maintained at 750 degrees C. To be considered noncombustible, the average of the samples must not exceed each of the following: a furnace temperature rise of 50 degrees C, a sample surface rise of 50 degrees C, a duration of flaming of 10 seconds, and a weight loss of 50 percent. Materials approved under this category to date are solid inorganic materials containing only small amounts of organic binder.

Some specific materials are known to be noncombustible based on their composition, and may be used in merchant vessels construction wherever noncombustible materials are required. These materials are not tested and do not receive certificates of approval. A list of these materials is contained in 46 CFR 164.009-3. For a product to be accepted as a noncombustible material not requiring tests, its manufacturer must certify that the product consists only of the materials listed in 164.009-3. All other materials must be tested.  The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory.

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the following information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instruction
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  The Code of Federal Regulations does not require continuous (B-0 or B-15) ceiling systems, since B-0 and B-15 bulkheads are installed deck to deck to provide a continuous fire barrier. However, since the SOLAS treaty recognizes continuous ceilings in lieu of installing bulkheads deck to deck, the Coast Guard has established an approval category for continuous ceilings, and assigned it approval category 164.010. Since the CFRs contain no appropriate approval criteria, the test procedure and acceptance criteria applied were taken from IMO Resolution A.517(13).

Since they are part of a B-class partition, all ceiling materials, with the exception of decorative surface finishes, must be noncombustible per 46 CFR 164.009. Decorative surface finishes must be approved separately under 46 CFR 164.012.

For ceilings which are intended to incorporate recessed light fixtures, ventilation units (diffusers), access panels, and recessed light switches, the test assembly must include a recessed light fixture housing, a diffuser, an access panel and a light switch housing. A separate test for ceilings incorporating accessories may be required if the accessories are extensive.

Continuous ceilings may also be used to meet A-60 deck criteria when certain conditions are met. In the latter case the fire test is conducted with the ceiling suspended below a steel deck in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The distance between the steel plate simulating a steel deck in the test furnace and the continuous ceiling below is considered to be the minimum distance for actual shipboard installation. Temperature measurements are made on top of the ceiling to determine compliance with B-15 ceiling criteria and on top of the steel deck to determine compliance with A-60 deck insulation criteria.

Each approval for a continuous ceiling is an approval of a specific design, as shown on the manufacturer’s approved joint detail and typical joiner construction drawings. Extrapolations of the data for application to other designs are not made. Additional ceiling designs require additional fire tests. The construction and material combinations shown in NVIC 9-97 for constructing A-60, A-30, and A-15 bulkheads and decks do not apply to continuous ceilings.  The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory.

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the following information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instructions
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  The U. S. Coast Guard approval category for interior (decorative surface) finishes is 46 CFR 164.012.  This specification requires decorative bulkhead and ceiling facings and coatings not exceeding 0.075 inches (1.9 mm) in thickness to meet low flame spread and smoke values.  Thicker materials must be non-combustible. Any adhesives used in applying the finish must be part of the fire test, and will be specified on the certificate of approval issued for the finish.  Other adhesives may not be substituted without repeating the fire test using the substitute adhesive.

The test method is ASTM E-84, and the finish must have maximum flame spread and smoke developed ratings of 20 and 10, respectively.  These finishes are for surface application to noncombustible substrates only.

Approved interior finishes may then be applied as a surface finish to any other approved non-combustible material, such as bulkhead panels and ceilings, without requiring additional approvals.  The process of applying approved finishes to approved construction materials does not require approval, but must be done in accordance with the finish manufacturer’s instructions.  The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory.

LINKSASTM E-84 (This link will take you to the website for the ASTM.)

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the following information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instruction
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION: See the Fiber Reinforced Plastic Grating link.  The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory.

LINKS:  FIBER REINFORCED PLASTIC (FRP) GRATING
 
SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the following information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instruction
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  SOLAS requires primary deck coverings to be tested in accordance with the FTP Code to ensure that they do not generate smoke or toxic or explosive hazards at elevated temperatures.  The FTP Code requires all primary deck covering materials to be tested to the flame spread criteria of Annex 1, Part 6 and the smoke density and toxicity criteria of Annex 1, Part 2.  The non-combustibility requirements of Annex 1, Part 1 do not apply.

Primary Deck Coverings vs. Floor Coverings

The FTP Code defines primary deck covering as the first layer of floor construction that is applied directly on top of the deck plating and is inclusive of any primary coat, anti-corrosive compound or adhesive which is necessary to provide protection or adhesion to the deck plating. This category has no counterpart in the CFR.  All materials located above the primary deck covering are considered "floor coverings" which are discussed under approval category 164.117.  Floor coverings are the layers placed on top of the primary deck covering.

Primary deck coverings are generally installed to provide a level surface for the application of the exposed floor covering. 

Primary deck coverings that are intended only for installation beneath a floor covering are tested on a steel substrate while floor coverings are tested on the standard calcium silicate board referenced in IMO Res. A.653(16).

Approved primary deck coverings may be used as floor coverings without additional testing.  As noted in paragraph 5.2 of Annex 2 of the FTP Code, primary deck coverings that have been tested to Part 6 are considered to also comply with the requirements of Part 5.

The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

This item can be approved under the US/EC MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA).

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval of the equipment.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instructions.
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  SOLAS requires noncombustible materials to be tested in accordance with the FTP Code to ensure that they do not burn or give off flammable vapors in sufficient quantity for self-ignition when heated to approximately 750ºC.  The IMO FTP Code requires noncombustible materials to be tested in accordance with ISO 1182-1990 using the acceptance criteria listed in Annex 1, Part 1 of the FTP Code. These requirements are the same as IMO Res. A.799(18), which was adopted after publication of the FTP Code.  The use of noncombustible materials is a basic functional requirement of SOLAS for most material approvals.  Non-combustible materials may be used anywhere in vessel construction without limitation.

The non-combustibility test is a severe heat exposure where five small samples of the material are inserted into a tubular electric furnace maintained at 750ºC.  Materials approved under this category to date are solid inorganic materials containing only small amounts of organic binder.  The samples must be selected at different locations in a production run to ensure that they are representative of the typical product.

To be considered non-combustible, the average performance of the samples must not exceed any of the criteria shown below:

    * a furnace temperature rise of 30 degrees C;
    * a sample surface temperature rise of 30 degrees C;
    * a duration of flaming of 10 seconds
    * a weight loss of 50 percent.

The temperature rise criteria are determined as the difference between the maximum temperature and the final temperature.  This differs from the procedure in 46 CFR 164.009 where the temperature rise is the difference between the initial stabilization temperature and the maximum temperature.

Some specific materials such as steel or glass is known to be inherently noncombustible based on their composition, and may be used in merchant vessel construction wherever noncombustible materials are required.  These materials do not need to be tested and do not receive certificates of approval.  A list of these materials is contained in Annex 2 of the FTP Code.  For a product to be accepted as a noncombustible material without testing, the manufacturer must certify that the product consists of only the materials listed in Annex 2.  All other materials must be tested.

Non-combustible C-Class Ceilings and Bulkheads

The Coast Guard is now issuing type approvals for composite panel construction intended for use as C-Class divisions, based on a recent decision of the IMO Fire Protection Sub-Committee to allow the use of adhesives with low flame spread characteristics as a component of C-Class construction.

These type panels are generally aluminum honeycomb construction.  Manufacturers have two options for a C-Class type approval.  Representative samples of the panel may be cut and tested in accordance with Annex 1, Part 1 for non-combustibility.  The alternative approach is to use only inherently noncombustible aluminum or steel components that are held together with an adhesive that has been tested under Annex 1, Part 5 for surface flammability.  The Follow Up Testing examines the adhesive application rate of the panel.

Acoustic and Thermal Insulation

SOLAS contains no performance requirements for acoustic and thermal insulation.  However, all insulation materials must be non-combustible as detailed in SOLAS regulation II-2/5.3.  Combustible insulation is permitted in limited applications for cold service piping if it is tested for surface flammability.  This is further discussed under approval category 164.143.

The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

This item can be approved under the US/EC MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA).

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval of the equipment.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instructions

APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  SOLAS requires draperies, curtains and other suspended textiles used in rooms containing furniture and furnishings of restricted fire risk (Type 6 and some Type 7 spaces on passenger ships) to have qualities of resistance to the propagation of flame not inferior to those of wool having a mass of 0.8 kg/m2.  This can be shown by testing in accordance with the criteria in Annex 1, Part 7 of the FTP Code.  It is not necessary to conduct separate fire tests for different colors of the same material.

The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

This item can be approved under the US/EC MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA). 

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval of the equipment.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instructions
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  SOLAS permits the use of combustible materials for facings, moldings, decorations and veneers if they comply with the criteria in regulation II-2/5.  Combustible materials used as exposed surfaces in corridors and stairways and on bulkheads and ceilings in passenger ship accommodation, service and control areas are required to have low flame spread characteristics.  This approval category includes only bulkhead and ceiling finishes. Floor coverings are discussed under 164.117, below.  The IMO FTP Code requires these materials to be tested to the surface flammability test in Annex 1, Part 5, and the smoke density and toxicity criteria of Annex 1, Part 2.  The Part 5 testing is conducted first because materials with very low heat release rates are accepted as complying with the smoke and toxicity criteria in Part 2 without the need for further testing.  It is not necessary to conduct separate fire tests for different colors or surface patterns of the same materials.  If a manufacturer produces an interior finish material at different thicknesses, only the maximum thickness must be tested.  The approval will permit the use of all thicknesses up to the maximum.

The Part 2 smoke and toxicity tests are based on the ISO 5659:1994, part 2 smoke chamber, but the acceptance criteria have been modified by the FTP Code.  SOLAS also requires exposed finishes to have a calorific value not exceeding 45 MJ/m2 when tested in accordance with ISO 1716 (oxygen bomb) test.  The Coast Guard applies this criterion to finishes which exceed 2 mm in thickness.

Any adhesives used in applying the finish must be part of the fire test, and the manufacturer of the adhesive will be specified on the certificate of approval issued for the finish.  Other adhesives may not be substituted without repeating the fire test using the substitute adhesive.

Approved interior finishes may be applied as an exposed surface on any approved bulkhead panels, ceilings and noncombustible substrates without additional testing.  The application of approved interior finishes to other construction materials does not require Coast Guard review, but must be done in accordance with the finish manufacturers instructions. 

SOLAS requires paints on exposed interior surfaces to meet the smoke density and toxicity criteria of Annex 1, Part 2 of the FTP Code and the surface flammability criteria of Annex 1, Part 5.  Paint manufacturers may test their paints to Part 5, and if the heat release rates meet the criteria of paragraph 2.2 of Annex 2 of the FTP Code, no further smoke and toxicity testing is necessary.

The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

This item can be approved under the US/EC MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA).

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval of the equipment.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instructions
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  SOLAS permits the use of combustible materials for floor coverings if they comply with the criteria in regulation II-2/5.  Combustible materials used as floor coverings in corridors, stairways and in rooms containing furniture and furnishings of restricted fire risk (Type 6 and some Type 7 spaces on passenger ships)  are required to have low flame spread characteristics.  The IMO FTP Code requires these materials to be tested to the surface flammability test in Annex 1, Part 5, and the smoke density and toxicity criteria of Annex 1, Part 2.  The Part 5 testing is conducted first because materials with very low heat release rates are accepted as complying with the smoke and toxicity criteria in Part 2 without the need for further testing.  It is not necessary to conduct separate fire tests for different colors or surface patterns of the same materials.

This approval category includes typical floor finishes such as vinyl tiles and carpet.  SOLAS considers floor coverings as the exposed floor surface.  Any materials installed beneath floor coverings are considered primary deck coverings, which are approved under category 164.106.  If a floor covering consists of multi-layer construction, testing may be required on the combination of layers or each layer separately.  The Coast Guard should be consulted prior to testing to determine the necessary procedure.  Floor coverings are tested on a representative substrate or the standard calcium silicate board referenced in IMO Res. A.653(16).  The floor covering may be mechanically fastened to the substrate or secured with an adhesive.  Any adhesives used are part of the fire test and the application rate and manufacturer of the adhesive are referenced on the type approval certificate.

The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

This item can be approved under the US/EC MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA). 

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval of the equipment.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Laboratory is in place.
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instructions.
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  Automatic fire dampers that are installed in A-Class divisions must be tested for their fire resistance in accordance with Annex 1, Part 3 of the FTP Code and Appendix A.II of Resolution. A.754 (18).  Two fire tests are required, one in a vertical furnace for bulkhead penetrations and the other in a horizontal furnace for deck penetrations.  The test bulkhead is mounted in the furnace with its stiffeners and insulation on the unexposed surface; the deck test specimen is mounted with the insulation and stiffeners on the bottom or exposed side.  The FTP Code requires that penetrations must only be installed in the top half of the test bulkhead to simulate actual fire exposure conditions.  However, the Coast Guard will accept tests with penetrations that extend below the mid-height of the test bulkhead if the laboratory adjusts the neutral plane of the furnace below the level of the penetrating devices.

The minimum and maximum size dampers for which approval is requested should be tested.   Dampers are required to automatically close, thus they must be tested with an installed operator.  Dampers that are tested with only a fusible link operator will be limited to the use of only fusible links.  If the manufacturer wishes to use a variety of electrical or pneumatic operators they should be included in the fire tests.  Manufacturers need not test every damper size and configuration with each operator.  All types of operators will be accepted if representative specimens of each are included in the fire tests.

Fire dampers must be in the open position at the start of the test and must close automatically.  Manual closure of the dampers is not acceptable.  The ductwork connected to the dampers must be open during the test.

For Coast Guard type approval, the penetrations must successfully pass only the integrity criteria of Res. A.754(18).  For installation in A-Class divisions, the damper sleeve is required to be insulated similar to the division penetrated.

The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

This item can be approved under the US/EC MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA).  

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans of the equipment that show typical installation details for both bulkhead and deck configurations and the installation instructions.
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  See FIRE PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR PLASTIC PIPE PER IMO RESOLUTION A.753(18)

The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

LINKS:  Alternate fire endurance test.


SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instructions
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  SOLAS requires bedding components such as blankets, quilts, bedspreads, pillows and mattresses used in rooms containing furniture and furnishings of restricted fire risk (Type 6 and Type 7 public spaces on passenger ships) to have qualities of resistance to the ignition and propagation of flame as determined by testing in accordance with Annex 1, Part 9 of the FTP Code.  This test is a small scale test intended to assess the ignitability of bedding components when exposed to a cigarette and lighted match.  It is not necessary to conduct separate fire tests for different colors of the same materials.

Box springs are not required to be tested, since their upper surface is covered by other bedding components.

The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

This item can be approved under the US/EC MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA).

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instructions.
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  SOLAS requires upholstered furniture used in rooms containing furniture and furnishings of restricted fire risk (Type 6 and some Type 7 public spaces and in stairways on passenger ships) to have qualities of resistance to the ignition and propagation of flame as determined by testing in accordance with Annex 1, Part 8 of the FTP Code.  This test is a small scale test intended to assess the ignitability of material combinations when exposed to a cigarette or lighted match.  The combination must be representative of the final product.  Individual components (such as fabric, foam, and batting) can not be approved.  It is not necessary to conduct separate fire tests for different colors of the same furniture.

The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  The testing must be performed on the product by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

This item can be approved under the US/EC MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA).

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval.
  • A test report from the Accepted Independent Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
  • Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Laboratory is in place
  • Required plans and a copy of the installation instruction
To facilitate the use of IMO fire tests for fire protection materials, IMO has incorporated these into a code, called the Fire Test Procedures (FTP) Code. In addition to the IMO fire tests, the FTP Code contains pass/fail criteria as well as additional requirements. The FTP Code criteria must therefore be applied rather than the criteria in the individual IMO resolutions or ISO standards. The FTP Code has been incorporated into SOLAS as a mandatory instrument.

A significant addition to the FTP Code is the requirement for follow-up inspections at the manufacturer's plant by an acceptable third party.

The FTP Code is divided into parts, each dealing with a specific set of performance criteria as follows:
  • Part 1 - Noncombustibility test
  • Part 2 - Smoke and toxicity test
  • Part 3 - Test for "A" and "B" Class divisions
  • Part 4 - Test for fire control systems
  • Part 5 - Test for surface flammability
  • Part 6 - Test for primary deck coverings
  • Part 7 - Test for vertically supported textiles and films
  • Part 8 - Test for upholstered furniture
  • Part 9 - Test for bedding components
To enable approving materials as meeting the above IMO criteria, and to avoid confusion concerning the applicable pass/fail criteria, the Coast Guard is establishing new material approval categories as listed below. Most of the new approval category numbers have been selected to correspond to the CFR approval categories. The exception is that the IMO categories have the number "1" after the decimal point instead of "0" (Example: for noncombustible materials the CFR approval category is 164.009, and for the IMO category the number is 164.109).
ACOUSTIC AND THERMAL INSULATION:  The CFRs contain no performance requirements for acoustic and thermal (i.e. comfort) insulation.  However, all acoustic and thermal insulation materials must meet the applicable fire safety requirements such as non combustibility.

ALUMINUM CONSTRUCTION:  Aluminum bulkheads and decks can generally be insulated to A-60 by using materials tested and approved for steel bulkheads and decks.  The procedure is explained in Technical and Research Bulletin 2-21, entitled "Aluminum Fire Protection Guidelines," published by The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), 601 Pavonia Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07306.  Also, NVIC 9-97 provides a summary of Coast Guard requirements.  However, some specific materials and designs such as sprayed fiber insulation and continuous ceilings can not be used with aluminum unless specifically tested and approved for use with aluminum construction.  SNAME Bulletin 2-21 can not be used to calculate aluminum construction for SOLAS vessels. Instead, the aluminum constructions must be tested to IMO Res. A. 754(18).  

ASBESTOS:  Although neither Title 46 of the CFRs or SOLAS treaty specifically prohibits asbestos, the U. S. Coast Guard does not approve structural fire protection materials containing asbestos fibers. 

DECK FINISH EXEMPTION:  The Code of Federal Regulations permits the use of unapproved deck leveling and finishing material which do not exceed 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) in thickness.  SOLAS does not contain this exemption.

FLOOR FINISHES:  Under the CFR, these must be approved either as deck coverings under 164.006, or as noncombustible materials under 164.009.  Under SOLAS, they must meet the IMO Fire Test Procedures (FTP Code).

MODULAR ACCOMMODATION QUARTERS:  The Coast Guard does not have a program of type approving complete accommodation systems for fire safety. Instead, the various structural fire protection elements (bulkhead panels, ceiling, insulation, etc.) of which the system is constructed are approved separately under their individual approval categories.  This subject is not currently addressed in the FTP Code.

NONCOMBUSTIBLE CEILINGS (C-CLASS):  The U. S. Coast Guard does not issue type approval for noncombustible ceilings and other C Class partitions because C-Class partitions are not required to be tested for fire resistance.  The only requirement is that ceilings must be constructed of approved noncombustible materials.

NON-LOAD BEARING INTERNAL DIVISION:  A recent IMO interpretation permits light-weight construction such as honeycomb panels of steel or equivalent material to be used as non load-bearing internal "A" class division in accommodation and service spaces provided they have been tested to the FTP Code criteria for a one hour period.  These panels are constructed of thin metal sheets bonded to an insulated core material and do not have a 4-mm steel core plate.  The use of lightweight construction cannot be used as an integral part of main fire zone bulkheads and stairway enclosures on passenger ships.

PAINT:  The CFR permits a limited number of coats of standard paint are permitted without requiring tests or approval. Nitrocellulose or other highly flammable or noxious fume-producing paints or lacquers are prohibited.  The SOLAS treaty requires paint in certain spaces to meet low flammability, smoke, and toxicity criteria.
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