Flooring the market

Over the course of its 27-year career, Drumarkon International BV has become a real specialist in the manufacture and supply of accommodation materials and interior components for vessels, particularly in terms of fire-rated materials. This is one of the key features that Drumarkon’s product range is based upon along with industry trends for sound reduction and weight saving.

Based in the Netherlands, the company is active globally in a variety of different marine applications such as offshore, cruise ships, ferries, mega yachts, high speed crafts and specialist vessels like dredgers. In order to accommodate these differing demands, Drumarkon is able to supply ‘ready to install’ systems, as well as a wide selection of custom made solutions. Drumarkon realises practical solutions for fire and sound protection – in areas such as doors, floors, and windows – and the importance placed on the final aesthetic of a vessel by providing a range of decorative materials.

Recently the business has launched a new floor system, which was one of the highlights of its exhibition at the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in November 2011. Elaborating on the finer points of this development, Bert de Jonge, owner of Drumarkon, says: “The SOLAS-regulations for larger vessels are getting more strict, thereby forcing yards to reduce the amount of combustible materials and increase the need to fire-rated materials. This floor has been specifically developed for those applications where we are working with floating floors, which today are applicable to all sorts of different large vessels such as yachts. These sorts of ships typically have very complex or special ceilings that clients don’t want to open but still for utility purposes require access to all the tubing and cabling. Therefore the market required a floating floor solution that these utility fixtures could be housed under.”

He continues: “The result has been our new Drumafloor NC-SR range, which not only has Marine Equipment Directive (MED) certified 15 minute fire-rating capabilities, but also the necessary mechanical strength to support the complete interior and passengers. Equally, on-board the vessels there are a lot of vibrations and sounds from sources such as the engine, so there is also a strong requirement for sound reduction properties. As such, we identified within the aerospace industry a suitable material, the Bisco L3 M 0940 foam, which fits below the floor to disconnect it from the vessel, with the Drumafloor then constructed on top.”

Bisco L3 M 0940 acts as a replacement to the traditional polyurethane foams that have been used for noise dampening and elimination on board ships. While traditional foams do not contribute to fire safety, Bisco L3 M 0940 foam and the Drumafloor NC-SR are fully certified according to IMO B-Class requirements. “Much of the development has been carried out in-house because we have the expertise in this field, and that expertise is not very widely spread. However, we have had complete co-ordination with specialists in other areas such as sound reduction and insulation, who we worked with very closely. Since the launch of the Drumafloor system, we have already received the first order and are now rolling it out across the yacht building business, but also beyond that to other applications where the characteristics of fire protection, sound reduction, mechanical strength and a low overall system weight are also important aspects,” elaborates Bert.

Not a company content with sitting still though, Drumarkon is continuing to put a lot of effort into its product development for the future as well. At present this includes several products that fit into its fire-rated material assortment, and the challenge of continued weight reduction. “We have a lot of expertise in our area of business, especially certification and all kinds of regulation such as SOLAS. Although some competitors offer a small selection of our range, we have a far wider variety of products for fire-rated applications. There is a requirement for products that are far superior to what is on the market right now, particularly in terms of weight and comfort level, and this is something we continue to deliver on,” highlights Bert.

Whilst the challenges of the shipping industry in recent years have not been lost on Drumarkon, the company’s long reputation as a recognised specialist in its business has stood it in good stead. Added to this has been a rise in the level of business for these types of materials, both domestically and internationally, which Drumarkon has really taken advantage of. “We want to become more advanced in our offering, as we have a strong crew of individuals that know the business and have been around for a long time, and the production capabilities to support this, but traditionally we have been relatively slow in bringing new products to market. This is where we are going to invest in the next couple of years to reduce the time to market, and to continue to differentiate ourselves with these high profile products,” concludes Bert.

Interior accommodation specialists
Leaders in fire-rated materials
New non-combustible floating floor