CBG Systems were looking for a way to improve the fire protection of their shipping panels. They found the answer in our specially-designed coating to make stronger, lighter, and more fire-resistant materials.

The challenge

Improving fire safety on ships

CBG Systems is a leader in marine insulation, having manufactured fire-resistant panels for ships for over 30 years. Their insulation is used in a range of military, merchant and passenger vessels around the world.
Their insulation is used in aluminium hulled ferries, but CBG Systems were looking for ways to expand their fire protection to other areas; specifically in much more common steel-hulled ships and ceiling systems within marine vessels.

Our response

A resin-based coating that can resist high temperatures

CBG Systems came to our materials scientists for options and we worked with them on a new type of insulation panel. The prototype panelling was the first of its kind to use a thermal non-intumescent based protective coating, applying CSIRO’s patented Hybrid Inorganic Polymer Systems (HIPS) technology.

These panels are fully non-combustible and can withstand temperatures of over 1000°C, remaining structurally stronger after this extreme exposure than conventional fire protection coatings.

We worked with CBG Systems to make sure this composite material met fire and weight reduction specifications for ship insulation. From there, we prepared CBG Systems to manufacture the new insulation and meet demand.

Our lead researcher was embedded in the company for four months to train and upskill CBG Systems employees in advanced manufacturing techniques to prepare them for taking the new panels to market.

The research was supported by two Australian Government Innovation Connections grants and received $750,000 funding from the Innovation Connections element of the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme to put towards a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Hobart.

The results

More manufacturing, new products

The innovation has enabled CBG Systems to transition to become an advanced manufacturer of globally-competitive marine insulation products and services.

CBG Systems has been able to employ six more people as a result of our work, brought more manufacturing jobs to Australia, and have already received orders for to fit out new ships from Spain and Denmark.

The panels we developed are also hydrophobic and reversible, potentially doubling their service life. CBG Systems are exploring other opportunities applications of their new insulation panels given the new potential HIPS has given them.

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