Frequently asked questions about Solent Composites, ProTek® or Passive Fire and Blast Protection
How heavy are ProTek® products in comparison to steel alternatives?
ProTek® weight comparison to steel is less than a third, it is manufactured from a lightweight structural composite system that can be handled safely whilst minimising structural support requirements.
Can composite walls be used to provide the protection needed on H-class and jet fire rated fire and blast walls, because such walls are not classed as non-combustible?
The question of combustibility is one that is commonly asked about our ProTek® composite fire and blast protection products. All the raw materials within our products would be classed as combustible since they would burn if sufficient heat and a flame is applied. However when combined into a composite structure they are resistant to combustion if a naked flame is applied to them. The products are certified and have been demonstrated to work as a hydrocarbon jet fire barrier that prevents flame penetration by forming a very hard impervious char that resists the aggressive nature of such fires. Clearly they are not combustible for this key performance requirement.
Sometime combustibility becomes an issue as it is often combined with other fire test requirements in marine and offshore standards such as those from International Maritime Organisation (IMO). This brings in an additional requirement to the fire protection to achieve certain results in specific combustibility tests. These tests usually rely upon a local flame and an additional heat source from a small furnace to elevate the temperature of the test piece to promote combustion.
Whilst our composite products are inert when a local flame is applied to the surface, an increase in temperature produced by a furnace will eventually cause volatile products to be released that promote combustion. It is these artificially generated volatiles that can catch fire during the test, which affect the results of the combustibility tests, rather than the response of the tested product itself.
This is addressed by taking a more pragmatic view to combustibility by restricting the temperature environment to be closer to that of the ambient temperature of an offshore or marine environment. Thus combustion solely to the flame source is considered, which is more representative of the real need. In these conditions the ProTek® products do not burn and will not contribute to a fire.
When considering our products in this light our customers readily select our products to protect their personnel and equipment on offshore and onshore oil and gas facilities. Our Projects Reference List describes those projects where the product has been successfully used for more than 25 years by most of the major oil and gas operators for protection of their platforms.
What is the design life of ProTek® products, and how much maintenance is required?
The design life is of ProTek® is 30 years, however, there are ProTek® flange covers and enclosures still in use that were installed over 30 years ago, requiring zero maintenance.
Do we need hot work?
No, No hot work is required
What sort of paint finish do ProTek® products have and do they need repainting during their life?
ProTek® Fire & Blast Protection products have no need of painting because they are manufactured with an external gelcoat finish, to a colour standard to be agreed with the Client. The gelcoat finish is resistant to environmental degradation from ultraviolet (uv) radiation, moisture and chemicals. This tough hard-wearing finish is applied to the ProTek® product in mould during the manufacturing process and will not need painting for the 30 year design life of the products.