Structural Fire Protection

 

Structural fire protection 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 laboratory acceptable 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.

APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  H-class divisions are constructed of steel or other equivalent materials and are capable of preventing the passage of flame and smoke for two hours.  In addition, they are classified as H-120, H-60 or H-0 depending on the time the assembly is capable of preventing the maximum temperature rise from exceeding 180°C.  H-class divisions may be required on offshore facilities to separate accommodation areas, control stations, or vital equipment from the drill floor and other hazardous locations.

H-class penetrations are evaluated using the test procedures and acceptance criteria in the FTP Code, Annex 1, Part 3, with the exception of the furnace time-temperature curve.  The standard furnace heating curve is replaced with the hydrocarbon curve in the laboratory test furnace, which is intended to simulate the higher heat flux from a burning flammable liquids fire (Method C of ASTM Standard E 1529, “Standard Test Methods for Determining Effects of Large Hydrocarbon Pool Fires on Structural Members and Assemblies”).

H-class penetrations are typically only installed in exterior boundaries.  Because of this, their approvals are restricted for installation where the side of the penetration seal that was exposed to the test furnace is on the exterior side of the penetrated division.  If the seal is tested with each side of the assembly exposed to the furnace separately, the approval will be unrestricted, i.e., the seal may be installed in the penetrated division with either side exposed to the weather.

If a seal assembly is intended to be used in both bulkhead and deck applications, it must undergo two separate approval tests, one in the vertical orientation and one in the horizontal orientation.

This item cannot be approved under the US/EC Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA).

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

 

 

 

 

 

  • A 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:  Deck coverings are tested for compliance with 46 CFR 164.006, entitled "Deck Coverings for Merchant Vessels." This specification is applicable to decks where a fire resistance rating is required, such as A-15, A-30, or A-60, and the fire exposure is expected to be from below the deck. Materials approved under this specification have been mixtures such as magnesium oxychloride cements, prepared at the job site, which are held to the steel deck with welded steel clips or an adhesive material. This test does not require the materials to be noncombustible. Instead, it specifies limits on the organic carbon content, fire resistance, temperature transmission, and smoke density.

The test is conducted to meet A-60 criteria. The approval for A-60 applications is limited to the thickness tested as a minimum. Based on the test for A-60, a reduced thickness of the material may be applied to meet A-30 and A-15 criteria. The applicable details are contained in NVIC 9-97.  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:  Deck coverings are tested for compliance with 46 CFR 164.006, entitled "Deck Coverings for Merchant Vessels." This specification is applicable to decks where a fire resistance rating is required, such as A-15, A-30, or A-60, and the fire exposure is expected to be from below the deck. Materials approved under this specification have been mixtures such as magnesium oxychloride cements, prepared at the job site, which are held to the steel deck with welded steel clips or an adhesive material. This test does not require the materials to be noncombustible. Instead, it specifies limits on the organic carbon content, fire resistance, temperature transmission, and smoke density.

The test is conducted to meet A-60 criteria. The approval for A-60 applications is limited to the thickness tested as a minimum. Based on the test for A-60, a reduced thickness of the material may be applied to meet A-30 and A-15 criteria. The applicable details are contained in NVIC 9-97.  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 approval specification for structural insulation is 46 CFR 164.007. This specification also requires compliance with the noncombustibility criteria of 46 CFR 164.009, resulting in separate fire tests for noncombustibility, and for fire resistance. Each insulation material is tested in the minimum thickness specified by the manufacturer, utilizing the method of installation recommended by the manufacturer. Typically, the insulation material is attached to a steel bulkhead with welded pins and speed clips. A joint or seam must be included in the test assembly. A set of typical installation drawings must be supplied to the testing laboratory to aid in the construction of the test sample. The drawing is to be representative of the expected installation of the insulation on ships.

The test is conducted to meet A-60 criteria. The approval for A-60 applications is limited to the thickness tested as a minimum. Based on the test for A-60, a reduced thickness of the material may be applied to meet A-30 and A-15 criteria. The applicable details are contained in NVIC 9-97.

The test specification states that the sample must be tested with the insulation facing the furnace fire, but the insulation may then be installed on a ship on either side of a steel bulkhead or under a steel deck.  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 of the equipment.
  • 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:  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:  SOLAS requires typical bulkhead and deck prototypes to be tested in accordance with the FTP Code to ensure that their construction meets the requirements for A-Class divisions. All A-Class divisions must meet the A-60 test standard.  The FTP Code requires that all structural insulation materials must be tested for non-combustibility under Annex 1, Part 1 and then tested for fire resistance under Annex 1, Part 3.   This approval category is intended to cover insulation systems that are installed above the steel deck plating.  This method of insulation is usually intended to provide a greater deal of noise and vibration reduction for the passengers and crew.  Deck construction where the insulation is installed on the bottom side of the deck is discussed in approval category 164.107.

Materials satisfying the noncombustibility criteria of Annex 1, Part 1 are considered to satisfy the surface flammability and smoke and toxicity testing requirements for primary deck coverings (Annex 1, Part 2 and Part 6).  A copy of the manufacturer's joint detailed and typical installation instructions will become part of the approval.

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 typical bulkhead and deck prototypes to be tested in accordance with the FTP Code to ensure that their construction meets the requirements for A-Class divisions.  The FTP Code requires that all structural insulation materials must be tested for noncombustibility under Annex 1, Part 1 and then tested for fire resistance under Annex 1, Part 3.  The FTP Code requires structural insulations to be tested in the orientation in which the material will be installed.  Because of this, two tests are required, one each in the vertical and horizontal orientations.

In the vertical test, the insulation is mounted on a stiffened 4-mm thick steel core plate that is positioned in the furnace with the insulation and stiffeners on the outside or unexposed side, while the deck test specimen must have the insulation and stiffeners installed below the steel deck plating and exposed to the furnace.  The top surface of the steel deck plating is normally left bare during the test.  If the test is to qualify aluminum construction, the test specimen should include the primary deck coverings and floor finishes that the manufacturer specifies, as they will affect the rate of heat loss on the unexposed side of the assembly and could cause premature structural failure of the aluminum core.  The FTP Code requires that the structural insulation must maintain the aluminum core plate temperature below 200ºC above ambient temperature during the test.  Alternatively, aluminum decks may be tested with a bare top side surface.  If the underside insulation is capable of limiting the core temperature to 150ºC, approval will be granted for the use of any deck coverings.

Insulation materials must be tested at a density that is representative of the manufactured product.  Insulation densities will normally fluctuate due to slight variations in production.  Type approval is therefore based on testing the insulation at the manufacturer’s stated nominal density.  The production density must be within ± 10 % of the nominal density.  If the material is produced at densities outside of this range, then two tests should be conducted at the minimum and maximum nominal density, and all densities within that range will be approved without further testing.

The figures in NVIC 9-97 showing A-60, A-30, and A-15 deck and bulkhead constructions using combinations of materials do not apply to materials tested to the FTP Code.

Normally, all structural insulations are tested in the thickness necessary to achieve an A-60 approval.  If a manufacturer requests a separate approval for an A-30 or A-15 rating, additional testing must be performed to determine the required thickness of insulation.

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 prototypes of typical bulkhead 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 bulkhead panel materials to be tested for noncombustibility 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.  The FTP Code, Annex 1, Part 3 requires bulkhead panels to be tested in accordance with IMO Res. A.754(18) for approval as B-0 or B-15 divisions.  The FTP Code acceptance criteria references B-30 approvals, however, there are no requirements in SOLAS for such a bulkhead qualification.  The Coast Guard does not, therefore, recognize such a designation.  Panels that pass the test for 30 minutes are approved as either B-0 or B-15 rated materials.  If the test is run for a 60 minute period, the bulkhead panel system may be used as a component of A-Class construction, provided that the test is conducted with a steel core plate as part of the test assembly.  To receive an unrestricted approval, two separate tests must be conducted; one test with the bulkhead panel facing the fire and one test with the steel core facing the fire.  The tested distance between the steel core and the panels is the minimum permitted in actual installations.  If approval of the panel system is to be limited to B-0 or B-15 Class only, the fire test does not include a steel bulkhead.  If the panel system includes internal passages for electric cables or light switches, samples of such panels must be included in the test assembly.

Non symmetrical panel systems must be installed in the test furnace with the side giving the inferior performance exposed to the fire.  If a determination of which side of the panel this is cannot be easily made from a review of the manufacturer's drawings, the panels must be tested in each orientation.

Manufacturers of approved bulkhead panels are required to submit drawings with typical joiner details as a required part of the approval.  The panels must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's typical installation drawings

Testing is conducted on panels without decorative surface finishes or paints.  Decorative surface finishes are approved separately under Parts 2 and 5 of Annex 1 of the FTP Code.

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 drawings and 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 fire doors in A-Class and B-Class bulkheads to provide equivalent fire resistance to that of the bulkhead in which the doors are installed.  The FTP Code requires that all materials used in the construction of fire doors must be tested for noncombustibility under Annex 1, Part1 and then tested for fire resistance under Annex 1, Part 3.  Adhesives used in the construction of fire doors need not be noncombustible, but they must be tested for low flame spread characteristics under Annex 1, Part 5 and should be included in the approved door’s follow-up program.

The maximum size door for which approval is requested must be tested.  If the required door size is larger than the test furnace can accommodate, test the largest size possible.  Fire doors may be constructed of steel, galvanized steel or stainless steel.  Type approval will be issued for all three materials based on a single fire test.  The fire door frame may be either bolted or welded in the test bulkhead.  Doors that are tested with a bolted frame will be approved for shipboard installation using either method.  Doors that are welded to the test bulkhead must be welded on the ship.

Doors must be mounted in the test bulkhead with the side expected to give inferior performance exposed to the fire.  Swinging doors must be oriented in the test bulkhead to swing away from the furnace.  When it may not be possible to judge which side should be tested such as for sliding doors, both sides of the bulkhead must be tested.  Prior to running the test, the U.S. Coast Guard should be contacted to determine the recommended arrangements.

Doors may be tested with an integral window.  Hose stream, thermal radiation and temperature rise testing requirements for the glazing are applicable as follows:

Window
Dimension
Door Fire
Rating
Hose Stream
Test Required?
Heat Flux
Test
Required?
Temperature Rise
Test Required?
645 cm2 A-Class None None None
645 cm2 A-Class Yes Yes Yes
645 cm2 A-0 Yes None None
645 cm2 B-15 None None None
645 cm2 B-15 None Yes Yes
Any dimension B-0 None None None

 

During the fire test, the surface temperatures on the unexposed side of the door are measured by thermocouples fixed to the surface of the door leaf.  The thermocouples are located at the center of the door and at the center of each of the four quarters of the door leaf.  The thermocouples are positioned at least 100 mm away from the edges of the door and from any special features such as latches, hinges or door knobs.  If a temperature rise limitation is applicable to the integral window, thermocouples should be attached to the unexposed surface of the window as specified for a door leaf.

Doors should be tested with typical hinges, latches, hose ports, electric strikes, viewers and other hardware that the manufacturer intends to use for shipboard applications.  The acceptance criteria for door hardware requires only that the door remain closed for the duration of the fire test and that openings in excess of that permitted by the Code are not allowed to develop.  None of the door hardware is required to be functional after the fire test.

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) with windows not exceeding 645 cm2 in area.


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 windows in A-Class and B-Class bulkheads and doors to preserve the integrity requirements of the bulkhead or doors in which they are fitted.  The FTP Code requires windows to be tested for fire resistance under Annex 1, Part 3. Windows must also meet the thermal radiation test supplement to fire resistance, as outlined in Appendix 1 of Part 3 of the FTP Code, and the hose stream test of paragraph 5 of Appendix A.1 of Res. A.754(18).  These tests are not separate tests but are conducted during the normal fire resistance test.  These tests are labeled "optional" in the FTP Code, but are required to obtain Coast Guard type approval.  Windows less than 100 square inches do not require hose stream or thermal radiation tests.

Window fire tests are required to be conducted with the window installed in a test bulkhead with the stiffeners and bulkhead insulation exposed to the furnace.  This configuration is intended to represent exposure of the window to an interior fire scenario, as would be expected on a passenger ship.  For windows intended for other applications, it may be necessary to test the sample with the insulation and stiffeners on the unexposed side of the assembly.  This situation may exist for windows installed on tankers where the fire exposure may to come from an exterior fire source.  Approvals are limited to the largest size windows tested.  Unsymmetrical window units that include multiple types of glazing, air gaps and insulating materials must be tested in the orientation that they are intended to be installed.  In most cases this will require the window to be mounted in the test bulkhead with the exterior glass layer positioned away from the furnace.

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.

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
Windows are not covered under the US / EC Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA).
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  SOLAS requires penetrations of A-Class divisions for piping, electrical cables and other shipboard systems to be tested to ensure that they do not compromise the fire integrity of the penetrated barrier.  Such devices must be tested for their fire resistance in accordance with Annex 1, Part 3 of the FTP Code and Appendices A.III and A.IV of Resolution. A.754(18).  Penetration seals are not required to be constructed of noncombustible materials and they do not have to meet surface flammability or smoke and toxicity criteria.  The Code allows this because penetration seals must have a degree of flexibility to seal around the penetrating items and remain in place when subjected to expected shipboard motions.

Fire rated penetration seals that must also be watertight are tested separately for their watertight properties.  The seals do not need to be tested for water tightness after they have undergone fire testing.  The watertight test specimen should be the size specified in the watertight testing procedures, and does not need to be the same size as that fire tested.  If a penetration seal has been successfully tested for water tightness, the manufacturer may request the type approval certificate to include information to that effect.

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 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 regulation II-2/9.4 requires power operated fire doors in main vertical zone bulkheads, galley boundaries and stairway enclosures to be able to operate in case of fire.  Testing of the door control system must be performed in accordance with Annex 1, Part 4 of the FTP Code to demonstrate that the door is operable for at least one hour at temperatures up to 200ºC, and at higher temperatures, the control system must disengage to keep the door in the closed position.  The test is conducted by mounting a scale model power operated door in a standard test bulkhead.  The furnace temperature is controlled at 200ºC for 60 minutes during which time the door is opened and closed every 5 minutes to demonstrate the control function.  After 60 minutes, the furnace temperature is increased to the standard IMO time temperature curve.  The model door must remain closed until a temperature of at least 945ºC is reached.

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:  The HSC Code regulation 7.4.2 requires bulkheads, decks, ceilings, linings and doors to have fire resisting properties.  Fire-resisting divisions must comply with the FTP Code Annex I, Part 11 (Part 11 was approved after the FTP Code was printed).  Part 11 requires fire resisting divisions to be tested and evaluated in accordance with the fire test procedures specified in IMO Resolution MSC.45(65).

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.

The following are additional requirements for materials approved for use in fire-resisting divisions:

  • Materials must be non-combustible or fire-restricting as verified in accordance with Part 1 or Part 10 of Annex 1 of the FTP Code.
  • FTP Code Annex I, Part 3 is applicable to certain constructions such as windows, fire dampers, pipe penetrations and cable transits.
  • FTP Code Annex, I Part 4 is applicable where a control system of fire doors is required to be able to operate in case of fire.
  • Combustible veneers are allowed on fire-resisting divisions in conjunction with non-combustible substrates, the low flame spread characteristics of such veneers will be verified in accordance with FTP Code Annex I, Part 5.
SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

  • A 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 drawings/plans of the equipment
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  H-class doors are designed to provide equivalent fire resistance to the two hour rated bulkheads in which the doors are installed. In addition, they are classified as H-120, H-60 or H-0 depending on the time they are capable of preventing the maximum temperature rise on the unexposed face from exceeding 180°C. H-class doors are installed in H-class divisions on offshore facilities to separate accommodation areas, control stations, or vital equipment from the drill floor and other hazardous locations.

All materials used in the construction of H-class fire doors must be tested for noncombustibility under Annex 1, Part1of the FTP Code, before the door is tested for fire resistance under Annex 1, Part 3. The tests for fire resistance follow the procedures in Annex 1, Part 3 of the FTP Code with the exception of the furnace time-temperature curve. The standard furnace heating curve is replaced with the hydrocarbon curve in the laboratory test furnace, which is intended to simulate the higher heat flux from a burning flammable liquids fire. (Method C of ASTM Standard E 1529, “Standard Test Methods for Determining Effects of Large Hydrocarbon Pool Fires on Structural Members and Assemblies”)

Adhesives used in the construction of fire doors need not be noncombustible, but must be tested for low flame spread characteristics under Annex 1, Part 5 and should be included in the approved door’s follow-up program. Fire doors with total window area of 645 cm2 (100 in2), or less, in each door leaf may be tested as a unit. Larger windows must be tested separately under the procedures in 164.237, and must include the thermal radiation supplement and hose stream test.

The maximum size door for which approval is requested must be tested. If the required door size is larger than the test furnace can accommodate, test the largest size possible. Fire doors may be constructed of steel, galvanized steel or stainless steel. Type approval will be issued for all three materials based on a single fire test. The fire door frame may be either bolted or welded in the test bulkhead. Doors that are tested with a bolted frame will be approved for installation using either method. Doors that are welded to the test bulkhead must be welded on the facility.

Doors must be mounted in the test bulkhead with the side expected to give inferior performance exposed to the fire. Swinging doors must be oriented in the test bulkhead to swing away from the furnace. The Coast Guard should be contacted to determine the recommended arrangements for other type doors prior to running the test.

Doors should be tested with typical hinges, latches, and other hardware that the manufacturer intends to use for offshore applications. The acceptance criteria for door hardware requires only that the door remain closed for the duration of the fire test and that openings in excess of that permitted by the FTP Code are not allowed to develop. None of the door hardware is required to be functional after the fire test.

This item cannot be approved under the US/EC Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA).

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

  • A 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:  H-Class windows are intended to provide equivalent fire resistance to the two hour rated bulkheads in which they are installed. In addition, they are classified as H-120, H-60 or H-0 depending on the time they are capable of preventing the maximum temperature rise on the unexposed face from exceeding 180°C. H-class windows are installed in H-class divisions on offshore facilities to separate accommodation areas, control stations, or vital equipment from the drill floor and other hazardous locations.

All materials used in the construction of H-class windows must be tested for noncombustibility under Annex 1, Part1of the FTP Code, and then tested for fire resistance under Annex 1, Part 3. For practical reasons, small amounts of intumescent or other combustible sealants/gaskets are permitted without testing, at the discretion of the laboratory. Windows exceeding 645 cm2 (100 in2) in area must also meet the thermal radiation test supplement outlined in Appendix 3 of Part 3 of the FTP Code using the performance criterion for A-60 bulkheads, and the hose stream test of paragraph 5 of Appendix 2 section A.1. Both tests are conducted during and immediately after the normal fire resistance test.

The tests for fire resistance follow the procedures in Annex 1, Part 3 of the FTP Code with the exception of the furnace time-temperature curve. The standard furnace heating curve is replaced with the hydrocarbon curve in the laboratory test furnace, which is intended to simulate the higher heat flux from a burning flammable liquids fire. (Method C of ASTM Standard E 1529, “Standard Test Methods for Determining Effects of Large Hydrocarbon Pool Fires on Structural Members and Assemblies”)

H-Class window fire tests are conducted with the window installed in a test bulkhead with the stiffeners and bulkhead insulation on the side of the bulkhead away from the furnace. This configuration is intended to represent exposure of the window to an exterior fire source. Approvals are limited to the largest size windows tested. Unsymmetrical window units that include multiple types of glazing, air gaps and insulating materials must be tested in the orientation that they are intended to be installed. In most cases this will require the window to be mounted in the test bulkhead with the exterior glass layer exposed to the furnace.

This item cannot 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:  H-class divisions are constructed of steel and are capable of preventing the passage of flame and smoke for two hours. In addition, they are classified as H-120, H-60 or H-0 depending on the time the assembly is capable of preventing the maximum temperature rise on the unexposed face from exceeding 180°C. H-class divisions may be required on offshore facilities to separate accommodation areas, control stations, or vital equipment from the drill floor and other hazardous locations.

H-class structural insulations must be tested for noncombustibility under Annex 1, Part1of the FTP Code, and then tested for fire resistance under Annex 1, Part 3. The tests for fire resistance follow the procedures in Annex 1, Part 3 of the FTP Code with the exception of the furnace time-temperature curve. The standard furnace heating curve is replaced with the hydrocarbon curve in the laboratory test furnace, which is intended to simulate the higher heat flux from a burning flammable liquids fire. (Method C of ASTM Standard E 1529, “Standard Test Methods for Determining Effects of Large Hydrocarbon Pool Fires on Structural Members and Assemblies”)

H-class insulation is typically installed on the exterior of bulkheads and decks facing the drill floor or hazardous area. Because of this, H-class insulation is tested with the insulation applied to the side of the test specimen exposed to the test furnace, and the approval is restricted to installation in the configuration tested.

If the insulation is intended to be used in both bulkhead and deck applications, it must undergo two separate approval tests, one in the vertical orientation and one in the horizontal orientation.

This item cannot be approved under the US/EC Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA).

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

  • A 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
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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