Composite Shipboard Ladder (CSL)
Navy SBIR FY2004.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2004.1
Topic No.: N04-042
Topic Title: Composite Shipboard Ladder (CSL)
Proposal No.: N041-042-1
Firm: KaZaK Composites Incorporated
32 Cummings Park
Woburn, Massachusetts 01801-2122
Contact: Jerome Fanucci
Phone: (781) 932-5667
Web Site:
Abstract: The Composite Shipboard Ladder (CSL) provides both weight saving and fire resistance for ship Inclined Ladder applications. Composites are used on Navy ship structure like DDX and a significant fire performance database has been developed on these materials. CSL fire resistance is achieved through an innovative construction demonstrated under the Navy Hatch retrofit program. Stringers and treads are made by Pultrusion, the lowest cost manufacturing process for structural composites. Pultrusion continuously produces constant section lineal shapes and is ideally suited to making tread and stringer parts. Two major shipyards have agreed to participate in the program. After detail requirements are defined, design, structural analysis, thermal (fire) analysis, weight estimate and production cost estimates shall be performed. Specific design performance will be a trade between weight and fire survival time. Test panels representative of the tread and stringer construction shall be fabricated for fire testing per UL-1709. Panel stiffness and thermal profile shall be monitored on loaded test articles as fire exposure progresses to determine the useable life of the part in fire conditions. This precious time can substantially enhance crew survivability.
Benefits: Successful completion of Phase I and II of the CSL development program will result in demonstration of a lightweight ladder that provides 7 to 15 minutes of useful life in a fire. This allows access/egress to the fire zone, enhancing both crew survival and fire fighting efforts. The CSL weighs the same as present aluminum inclined ladders, which fails almost immediately in case of fire.