ACO Marine and Sika Group Cooperate on New Flooring-Drainage Interface Concept
Wastewater management specialist ACO Marine has entered into a cooperation agreement with Switzerland´s Sika Group to optimise the interface connections between onboard drainage scuppers and channels and a vessel’s deck coverings.
The development, announced in Hamburg, Germany, during the SMM 2018 Trade Fair, extends the cooperation agreement Sika Group signed with ACO Marine’s parent company, ACO Group, more than three years ago.
Sika, a market-leading resin flooring company, and ACO, a leader in the development and manufacture of hygienic drainage systems, initially joined forces to develop evidence-based guidance on flooring-drainage connections for factory and processing facility operators.
The research proved invaluable in establishing a new way to design floor-drainage connections for land-based applications and this is now extended to develop the same for maritime application.
Lukas Kaisler, Group Management, ACO Marine, says, “Choosing the right type of flooring and drainage systems with respect to operating conditions and site traffic has always been a challenge for ship operators. We can now take the findings from the initial research forward to develop new interface solutions for shipboard use.”
The connection between scuppers and channels and a ship’s flooring is a critical point since it is possible to have connection breakdown – due to dynamic and/or thermal loading – which can result in water ingress, corrosion of deck structures or floor delamination. Water seeping in to the flooring from the gutters can also create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, a major concern for passenger ship operators, in particular.
Tony Jenkins, Corporate Business Development Manager – Marine, Sika Services AG, comments, “We are pleased to have extended the cooperation agreement we have in place with ACO Group to now include its marine division, ACO Marine. The findings from the initial study will now be developed specifically for maritime applications, which will allow Sika and ACO Marine to develop guidelines and solutions to optimise the interface connections between the flooring and drainage systems onboard ship.”
Mark Beavis, Managing Director, ACO Marine, states, “The drainage-floor connections in current maritime use can be damaged after few years of operation, often requiring extensive and costly flooring repairs or replacement. To avoid downtime, flooring systems and hygienically designed drainage systems should be carefully selected for the different parts of ship – machinery spaces, galleys, laundries, cabins, swimming pools, etc.”
“As there are currently no guidelines, ship operators and shipbuilders have hitherto used trial and error when selecting the appropriate flooring and drainage system. From this cooperation, however, we aim to optimise the connection between Sika flooring systems and ACO Marine drainage systems and establish sound guidelines for their installation and use.”
The results from the joint research project are likely to result in direct cost savings. Jiri Lonicek, Head of Product Management, ACO Marine, says, “We will communicate the findings from the research to shipowners and shipbuilders so that they can benefit from reduced floor maintenance costs and reduce possible bacterial contamination for a safer, more hygienic environment for passengers and crew.”