Drumarkon International, a supplier of superyacht interior materials, has received the first orders for its revolutionary new non-combustible floating floor. A leading Dutch yard is to fit the Druma-Floor NC/SR (Non Combustible and Sound Reduction) in a 100-metre motoryacht that is currently under construction. Many other orders are expected in the near future as yachtbuilders look for ways to meet the increasingly stringent new SOLAS and IMO regulations that ban the use of traditional floors.
The construction features, weight and installation of the new Druma-Floor are identical to conventional sandwich floor panels. But there the similarities end as the materials used and fire-protection offered provide a unique new solution for the next generation of superyachts. Having been subject to comprehensive fire tests, this first order brings the Druma-Floor solution to the next stage.
Although suitable for any vessel, the system was developed with the specific needs of superyachts. These require elevated or floating floors that offer an easily accessible space under the floor for wiring, cables and the like. The floor needed to be strong enough to support the wealth of furniture that is installed onboard modern superyachts. It had to have the same sound reduction quality as traditional floors, reflecting the wide range of noises onboard a yacht. And then – and this was both the major challenge and the raison d’être for the new Druma-Floor – it had to offer an unprecedented degree of fire resistance.
“As yachts break through the 100-metre barrier they are subject to different regulations,” says Bert de Jonge, managing director of Drumarkon International in the Netherlands. “Moreover, all the signs are that these fire regulations will soon start to apply to smaller vessels and become increasingly strict. With no real alternative available on the market, Drumarkon decided to deploy our expertise in the application of fire-resistant panels to develop something entirely new that would meet the required properties in terms of mechanical strength, sound attenuation and fire rating while still being assembled in a similar way to traditional floors.”
A key feature of the Druma-Floor’s development was that it be disconnected from the beams in order to the floor vibrations negligible. “Finding a solution that could be used in combination with a fire-rated system was one of the most complex parts of the entire project,” continues De Jonge. “After spreading the net far and wide we eventually found the answer in the Bisco-foam used in the aircraft industry. This material has very good vibration dampening properties and is IMO-certified. The floor panels are composed of a grooved calcium silicate core to which aluminium plates are bonded with a special sound-insulating glue. Aluminium is much easier to cut than steel and offers obvious benefits in terms of weight.”
Careful consideration was also given to ease of installation, which is a major drawback for the alternatives on the market. The Druma-Floor panels are fitted by means of an aluminium spring and fixed with steel countersunk screws. “The panels are pre-drilled with sink holes and we even provide the screws,” adds De Jonge. “We even offer cover protection so that the floor cannot be damaged as people are welding or drilling while the yacht is being finished.”
The Druma-Floor has been subject to stringent tests at the TNO institute in the Netherlands. “The results exceeded all expectations,” concludes De Jonge. “The Druma-Floor has a 30-minute fire rating and has been certified in accordance with IMO Res. 754 (18) in class B15 and SOLAS. This is as close to a plug & play system as you can get for superyacht flooring.”