This test program evaluated aluminum, steel, and fiberglass lifeboats in one- to three-minute liquid spills fires to determine which type of lifeboat provides superior resistance to a transitory deck fire. Each lifeboat consisted of a half-hull built on a continuous keel bar with side benches, and foam-filled flotation devices. Eight half-hulls, three of aluminum, two of steel, and three of fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP), were tested. A specially designed pen permitted videotaping the exterior and interior hull surface during actual fires. A water spray necessary to protect the superior lifeboat during a long-term fire was also calculated and tested. The results indicated: (1) aluminum lifeboats melt and collapse when exposed to one-minute deck fires, (2) steel lifeboat hulls remain intact, but the interior structures and buoyancy tanks would have to be extinguished before the lifeboat would be useable, (3) FRP lifeboats provide good fire resistance and retain superior lifesaving capabilities, and (4) a water spray application rate of 0.23 gallons per minute per square foot (9.37 liters per minute per square meter) will protect steel and FRP lifeboats in sustained test fires.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Performed at the Coast Guard Fire and Safety Test Detachment.
  • Corporate Authors:

    United States Coast Guard

    Research and Development Center, 1082 Shennecossett Road
    Groton, CT  United States  06340-6096
  • Authors:
    • Beene Jr, D E
  • Publication Date: 1980-2

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 26 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00314765
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CG-D-19-80 Final Rpt.
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 27 1980 12:00AM