Bolidt antimicrobial decking could aid cruise industry’s return

Synthetic applications specialist Bolidt is launching an antibacterial flooring system to improve hygiene on passenger ships and support the safe return of the cruise industry. Originally designed for use in land-based applications such as hospitals and kitchens, the technology is said to be bactericidal, hygienic and easy to clean.

‘Our antimicrobial floor cover has consistently demonstrated its value on land in the healthcare sector,’ says Jacco van Overbeek, director of Bolidt’s Maritime Division. ‘We had never considered it for marine applications simply because it didn’t seem necessary. Now the pandemic has heightened awareness on cruise ship hygiene, and we have a product ready to go that could be of great help to cruise lines.’

The material is applied as a coating to the Bolideck 525 decking used for indoor spaces on passenger ships. The 525 system is said to be durable, low maintenance and highly adaptable. It can be designed to incorporate safety messaging, which may take the form of static or dynamic signs, such as social-distancing markers or lights indicating the direction in which guests should queue during embarkation. When combined with the hygienic cover, it is said to be able to minimise the transmission of viruses in addition to bacteria.

Hybrid Flooring

Cruise operators and interior designers have already expressed great interest in the antibacterial decking, with Georg Piantino – senior architect at YSA Design, a Bolidt partner – proposing its application as part of a “Hybrid Flooring” concept. Conceived during discussions between YSA and Bolidt, the hybrid floor comprises a layer of carpet fitted on top of the Bolideck 525 system with antimicrobial coating. In the event of a future outbreak, the carpet would be stripped away to reveal the safety markers underneath, also activating the solution’s hygienic and bactericidal properties.

‘Certain spaces on board a cruise vessel require plush carpeting to create that luxurious feel, but passenger ships will have to be flexible when they set sail again,’ states Piantino. ‘With the hygiene of Bolidt’s antimicrobial technology, social distance signage and the elegance of a fine carpet, Hybrid Flooring is the perfect example of how vessels can adapt to changing requirements. It will allow a luxury suite to be transformed into a medical area, for instance, in a short space of time and with minimal disruption.’

Picture: Bolidt Innovation Center.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.