Two Innovative Firestop Solutions for Lightweight Joiner Panel Bulkheads
The use of lightweight materials, such as joiner panels & plastic pipe systems, has become more common in the Marine/Offshore Market. As they gain popularity, installing these panels and using plastic piping systems and electrical systems has created the need to provide fire protection of the penetrating items as they pass through the rated joiner panel to provide services throughout the structure.
Instead of using steel plates for bulkheads, lightweight joiner panel systems are being used. Some panel systems now can provide A-Class ratings up to A-60. Using these types of lightweight construction products provides weight savings and can even offer lower installed costs. At STI Marine Firestop, we have actively sought approval to address the various kinds of lightweight joiner panel penetrations.
Much like joiner panel systems, plastic pipe systems provide weight savings and could lower the installed cost. There are several different types of plastic piping for waste/vent, water supplies, etc., that are lightweight, easy to install, and even corrosion-resistant. However, these plastic pipe systems can be more vulnerable than metallic pipes in the event of a fire. They can burn away and provide a pathway for fire, hot gases, and smoke to spread throughout the structure as they penetrate the rated division.
The MFC Firestop Collar is a factory-manufactured device used as a pipe penetration seal in fire-rated bulkheads and decks. It is comprised of a stainless steel body with a mild steel flange for easy weld attachment to steel divisions. The flange may be split for quick installation around existing pipes and has openings for fastening with steel screws or bolts to panels or other non-steel divisions. Lined with a molded, intumescent insert that rapidly expands to more than 60 times its original volume, MFC Collars contain the fire to the point of origin and restrict the passage of smoke and hot gases.
Multi Cable Transits, or MCTs, as they are commonly known, are complex multi-wire systems that penetrate these divisions and provide similar protection. STI Marine Firestop offers a unique solution for these panel applications via the EZ Path fire-rated cable transits.
EZ Path Marine Cable Transits are the industry’s only zero-maintenance cable transit designed to take control of your fire-rated divisions in non-watertight applications without the need to seal openings using putty or sealant. EZ Path Marine Cable Transits can be installed individually or grouped to accommodate future expansions or increased cable load capacity. The heavy-duty mounting plates can be welded or even bolted to the fire-rated division for fast and convenient installs at sea or in dry dock. One EZ Path transit, the MDM400J, is designed and approved specifically for lightweight joiner panel bulkheads.
STI Marine Firestop strives to provide viable solutions to support this shift to lightweight construction materials. Industry-wide, there is limited testing of these applications. However, STI Marine Firestop can now provide a Marine Equipment Directive (MED) and other approvals to accommodate these penetrations in lightweight joiner panels systems.
All STI Marine Firestop products are designed to be easily installed and provide a cost-effective solution to restore the rating to the penetrated panel system.
To view our updated list of Marine Equipment Directives (MEDs) and approvals, visit https://approvals.stimarine.com.