Unlike insulation used in homes and buildings, marine insulation must not only be able to limit heat transfer but also guard against moisture accumulation. This is especially important for marine vessels such as oil rigs, barges and tugboats that carry petroleum and other fuel products. Moisture can collect under insulating cladding and erode steel components. A major issue is corrosion under insulation (CUI), which may threaten equipment and quarters on the bottom side of a vessel, as well as create structural problems.
Another distinguishing factor is the liquid nature of the marine environment. Marine insulation systems must be able to withstand exposure to sea water and high levels of humidity. Frequent contact with water molecules, through sea or humidity, is the biggest culprit of corrosion. This is why many marine insulation systems are made of materials that can be resistant to corrosion, as well as withstand moisture and temperature fluctuations.
In addition to thermal and fire protection, ship and mega/super yacht insulation needs to provide acoustic insulation as well. Sound transmissions are a serious problem on ships that reduce crew comfort and can also create structural issues.
In order to achieve this, there are a wide variety of insulation materials that can be utilized in a variety of applications on ships and yachts. For example, mineral wool insulating boards are an efficient solution for the insulated walls of machine rooms on military and commercial vessels, as well as yachts. These materials are non-combustible and can be rated with different certificates for fire safety depending on the ship or yacht.