A ship requires the right flooring solution to be able to weather rough seas. To dampen vibrations, the vessel needs a visco-elastic floor in the structure of the hull. A floating floor reduces the airborne-like sound from the engine as well as impact noises such as doors slamming, somebody knocking on the deck or people walking.

If you are hoping to get some relaxation on a cruise holiday, you want noise levels to cause as little disturbance as possible, including other vacationers’ footsteps. Depending on the noise situation, you have to find the correct floor solution. And it goes without saying that floors always have to be safe and non-slippery.

Just add water - products are all one component

The new six-pack from Sika can be described as simple to use with enhanced green features, taking the Sikafloor range to new heights for its customers. The six are the outcome of two years of intensive R&D and independent verification by third-party agencies, plus additional field testing. ”We can proudly say that these products are all one component – just add water,” explains Christian Riis, Key Account Manager at Sika Marine. ”And as there are no isocyanates, there is nothing to declare on the green passport,” he says.

This waterproof mortar membrane won`t crack

Sikafloor Marine Elastic is a waterproof mortar membrane for sealing off wet areas using a very thin 1-2 mm layer with flexible crack-bridging properties. Riis explains: “It definitely won’t crack if it’s less than 3 mm because it’s elastic, but it can be stretched. It can be applied by roller, brush or spatula, depending on the water quantity when mixed. And it can be applied on humid substrates with no need to wait days for the humidity level to fall to an acceptable level – the next day is fine.”

Sikafloor Marine 107 is an ultra-lightweight self-leveling deck covering which, in comparison with previous solutions, requires 200 grams less per square meter for every millimeter of thickness applied. “It’s ideal for passenger ships, where weight is critical and the savings made are vital in light traffic areas such as cabins. Its excellent self-leveling properties mean it spreads out more or less by itself after some guiding,” Riis says.

Floating floors are built up on rock wool

In the case of floating floors, it is built up on rock wool. As a leveling component it can go directly on steel,” Riis reveals. “But because it contains no magnesium chloride, there is no danger of corrosion starting if water penetrates down to the steel deck. Magnesium chloride-based systems can advance corrosion at a rate of half a millimeter per year, so with a deck 5-6 mm thick, it doesn’t take long to cause serious damage and expense.”

Visco-elastic without losing any damping

The last two in the pack are new visco-elastic products, as their lettering suggests. Sikafloor Marine VES 515 is a visco-elastic steel damping system. When tiles are needed in a VES, this is the one to use thanks to its adhesiveness. “Steel tiles 1-3 mm thick can also be placed on top of a vertical surface and there’s no sliding down even on a coating 1-2 mm thick. And it is silicone- and PVC-free as well. Customers can switch to this without losing any damping, which compares well against today’s products with a loss factor of 21%,” Riis stresses.

High structure- borne damping efficiency effect

However, to build up an isocyanate-free visco-elastic solution on a steel deck, it has to be mortar, and Sikafloor Marine VEM is the right choice. In addition to the basic qualities they all share, it is pumpable, requires only 1-2 mm covering and is very flexible and difficult to crack. The high structure- borne damping efficiency effect is achieved by using Sikafloor Marine 18 or Marine 118FC as the constraint layer. “It is the first ever visco-elastic mortar on the market and no damping properties are lost by changing from products containing isocyanates,” Riis emphasizes.

Intensive seminars for shipbuilding experts

As part of the rollout, Sika held a series of intensive seminars for shipbuilding experts, including demonstrations and a tour around the craftsman’s testing R&D laboratory at their facility in Northern Italy. One of the specialists who attended, STX Finland Sound & Vibration Project Engineer Berndt Lönnberg says: “I think it’s great to see materials suppliers who are serious about the challenge of developing new products that address environmental concerns. It proves that Sika listens to contractors, subcontractors and yard installation personnel when it comes to making their work easier,” Lönnberg says.