hotspot in ship

Hotspots on a ship

Hotspots on ships are areas that are prone to high temperatures and are at risk of catching fire. These areas can pose a serious danger to the crew, the ship itself, and the environment. Hotspots can occur in various areas of a ship, including the engine room, boiler room, fuel tanks, and other machinery spaces.

hotspot in ship

What causes the formation of hotspots?

Hotspots on ships can be caused by a number of factors. 

Inside ships a lot of critical machineries are running at a very high temperature. This includes machineries like:

  • Main Engine
  • Auxiliary Engine
  • Boiler
  • Incinerator

Main and auxiliary engine exhaust gas temperatures are around 350℃ – 410℃ while the temperature of exhaust gases from an Incinerator is around 300℃. But the pipes that are carrying these gases are insulated so that the heat of these gases does not leak outside the pipe.

When there is leak or defect in any of the pipes that are carrying these gases, then the area where these gases are leaking will start to get hot resulting in the formation of a hotspot.

What is the danger of an unaddressed hotspot?

Hotspots on ships pose a significant danger to the crew, the ship, and the environment. 

The auto ignition temperature for oils used inside ships are around 250℃. If there is a leak on an oil line anywhere inside the ship and it comes into contact with any of these hotspots, it can result in serious fires and explosions, causing damage to the ship, cargo, and crew. This can also put the environment at risk, particularly in cases where hazardous materials are involved.

danger of unaddressed hotspot

How to detect hotspots?

To detect hotspots regular inspections are conducted inside a ship and the temperature of the areas which are likely to turn into hotspots are recorded. The temperature of these parts should not be greater than a set value given by the company to ensure the safe working of machines.

To detect the temperature of these parts an infrared temperature gun is usually used where we point the infrared laser at an object and the temperature of the surface on which the laser is falling on is shown on the monitor.

detect hotspot

Another method of detecting hotspots is to identify it visually, when the exhaust gases are leaking at a particular point it will cause a discolouring and blackening of the area around it.

What should be done after a hotspot is identified?

When a hotspot is identified the leak in the pipe should be rectified as soon as possible and the affected area should be repainted.


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Can we use IR temp gun to just detect paint room fire?

Aman Manwal

Yes, you can check it as the temp of the bulkheads will increase if there is a fire in the paint room which you can detect with the temp gun.