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Solent Composite Systems (SCS), manufacturer of ProTek composite passive fire and blast protection systems, and Composites UK member, has recently delivered an innovative all-composite freezer module to an offshore platform in Norway.
SCS explain the project was delivered to the Gullfaks platform for Statoil in a very rapid timescale including independent certification by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) verifying blast and fire performance. The modular freezer construction comprises lightweight ProTek panels fixed to structural pultrusions, which allow them to deliver a low thermal conductivity with a U value of 0.2 W/m² ºC.
SCS say that due to space limitations on the platform, the walk-in freezer, which measures 7.5m long by 2m wide x 2.5m high, is designed to form an extension to the existing living quarters and therefore has to meet the same criteria for explosion and fire performance; this is equivalent to 1.5 Tonne / m² blast load and 60 minutes fire protection. They say that the entire structure weighs no more than 2.5 Tonnes with less than 3% being metallic parts and each lightweight panel was installed by platform personnel using no special handling aids.
The use of composite panels and pultruded structural members ensures that the insulation requirements are met with a minimal thickness panel since there are no metallic elements to affect the freezer performance. Another aspect of the reduced space is that the module had to be installed from inside the freezer since there is no access to install fixings from outside the module. SCS manage this by using stainless steel blind fixings designed to be installed where access is restricted to one side only.
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