Preventing onboard fires with the RAC Plus system

Passenger ferry operators are installing CBG Systems’ innovative lightweight fire insulation panels to reduce the risk of fires breaking out on their vessels

Preventing onboard fires with the RAC Plus system
The RAC Plus system has non-corrosive, non-metal panels that can be reversed to extend their lifespan

Australia-based firm CBG Systems made history in 2020 when it launched Rapid Access Composite (RAC) Plus, a first-of-its-kind lightweight panelised structural fire protection system that can withstand temperatures of more than 1,000C and offer at least 60 minutes of fire protection. 

Approved for use on steel ships and aluminium high-speed craft, RAC Plus was developed in collaboration with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. The A60 system comprises a marine-grade stainless steel supporting structure and non-metallic, non-corrosive panels with a thermal non-intumescent protective coating to ensure they remain structurally stronger than conventional fire protection systems. RAC Plus weighs half as much as traditional metal cladding, which helps to lower the vessel’s fuel consumption and carbon emissions. 

Impressed by its fire safety and weight-saving credentials, Fred Olsen, Baleària and Molslinjen have all installed RAC Plus on their newest passenger ferries. Feedback has been resoundingly positive.  

“Our customers like that RAC Plus is an A60 system rather than a 60-minute fire resistant division made of intumescent fibres because it is safer,” says Javier Herbon, managing director of CBG Systems. “They are also very happy that the system is water repellent, durable, easy to maintain and has washable white veneer panels that can be reversed to extend their lifespan. Another benefit is that the common stainless-steel supporting structure makes it easier for customers to source and fit spare parts.” 

CBG Systems worked closely with the three ferry operators to install RAC Plus. “As with most of our projects, we developed, manufactured and fitted the system for these three clients,” says Herbon. “However, we also have a network of agents in Europe and the USA who can assist us with installations if necessary.”   

To date, more than 60 vessels currently operating in the Northern hemisphere use CBG Systems’ fire protection solutions. 

“We have more than 40 years’ experience manufacturing and installing passive fire protection systems, and we now offer more than 12 different lightweight panelised systems variants,” says Herbon. “This means we have the right solution for every onboard space. And we’re continually investing in research and development to create new solutions that will meet our customers’ current and future needs.”

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. 

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
05 November 2021

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