STX France SA: Large-Scale Tanker Insulation

During the years 2004-2006, the world's largest liquid gas tankers at the time - "Provalys", Gaselys" and their smaller sister ship "Energy"- were built in the famous docks of tradition-rich shipyard "Les Chantiers de l’Atlantique" in St. Nazaire, France. Before their completion, an extremely laborious insulation process took place inside the ships’ hulls. Eventually the deployment of Openair® plasma technology made an essential contribution for completing the hulls’ insulation layer toward a successful realization of the overall project.


To insulate the tankers, a new insulation technique was to be employed that would provide an increase of the tanker's holding capacity by 8000m³. To reach this target a 100% tightness warranty on the bonding of the new insulation composite panels mounted directly on the inner walls of the ship had to be achieved. Neither chemical processes nor flame treatment of the surfaces could claim the desired success. It was only with the use of the Openair® plasma technique that all environmental, safety and efficiency requirements were finally met.
The final solution provided for a large-area use of 20 robot-controlled plasma systems which, thanks to the "cold plasma", worked directly, on site, on the lining of the tank chambers. Any risk of overheating was eliminated. The decisive factor for pre-treatment was first, the destruction of all organic substances on the polymer surface of the sealing tapes to be bonded, and secondly the strong activation of the plastic material in preparation of the subsequent bonding process with a 2C epoxy adhesive. In the end the Openair plasma systems cleaned and activated a combined surface of 12,000 sq.m. per tanker.


Openair® plasma offers the user the following values:

  • One single pretreatment method for bonding the insulation composite panels in conformity with the environmental, safety and efficiency requirements
  • 100% tightness of the tanker insulation

Put atmospheric plasma to the test in your production.
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Plasmatreat North America Inc.
1480 Sandhill Dr., Unit 8,
Ancaster, ON L9G 4V5

Phone: +1 905 304-5200
Fax: +1 905 304-5260

Contact: Mr. Tim Smith

Plasmatreat USA, Inc
2541 Technology Drive, Suite 407
Elgin, IL 60124

Phone: +1 847-783-0622
Fax: +1 847-783-0991

Contact: Mr. Jeff Leighty

Plasmatreat USA, Inc
4th State, Inc.
1260 Elmer Street
Belmont, CA 94002

Phone: +1 650 596 1606
Fax: +1 650 596 1180

Contact: Mr. Wally Hansen

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