Insulation is a key factor in the success of commercial, passenger or mega yachts, with specific needs that differ from one vessel to the next.
While there are many differences between marine insulation and insulation for residential or commercial buildings, the main difference is that marine applications often require insulation to perform multiple functions – thermal, fire, and acoustical.
The liquid nature of the marine environment requires marine insulation to be able to resist humidity and water infiltration. This is a significant issue as water and high levels of humidity can cause materials to degrade, including insulation. Marine insulation systems must also guard against corrosion under insulation (CUI), which can occur when moisture seeps through an insulated pipe and corrodes the steel components inside the pipe.
Another distinct feature of marine applications is the ability for a ship to be moved to different climates. For example, a vessel that is operating off the frigid coast of Newfoundland may need to be moved to balmier fishing waters in Southeast Asia. This requires a vessel to be insulated to tolerate temperature variances while keeping crew members comfortable and cargo secure.
Luckily, advances in insulation technology allow for the use of insulation with superior properties that meet specific requirements for marine application. Insulations like rock wool, stone-wool or foam-based insulation can offer the benefits of thermal and fire resistance as well as acoustical properties that help to control noise pollution. These products are lightweight, water impermeable and are available in a variety of densities, thicknesses and sizes.