Why Do Materials Require Fire Protection?
Most materials are not inherently resistant to the effects of fire and therefore require fire protection. Steel is the most prominently protected material but protection can be required for other materials such as aluminium and plastics.
Whatever the material to be protected from the effects of a fire the principles are the same - namely, to prevent the rise in temperature of the protected substrate to maintain its structural integrity.
Put simply, fire protection gives you time to escape and time to extinguish the fire, reducing damage to the asset and its surroundings. Due to the different nature of fire types and standards, the correct product selection is critical.
Intumescent coatings react in the presence of intense heat form an insulating layer, protecting underlying structural steel and extending the duration of its structural integrity. They form part of a range of products available to designers to achieve the fire-resistance requirements for their projects.
As with any fire protection product, it is important to understand intumescent coatings to ensure correct specification and one that is fit for purpose. 'Intumescent Coatings for Commercial Infrastructure' by Dr Allan Jowsey, Fire Engineering Manager for International Paint, outlines some of the key issues that architects, engineers, fabricators, applicators and approving authorities should be aware of when dealing with such coatings.