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Latest Generation of Fire Protection Coatings Offers New Design Options

The technology available today to protect steelwork in many modern buildings across the globe gives architects the peace of mind that their projects will be creative as well as compliant. New materials being developed for structural steel in complex modern buildings increasingly deliver the benefits of safety, availability, sustainability, lightness of weight and relative cost. In selecting steel for such striking structures — some of which are often left exposed as part of the aesthetic of a modern building — the architect also needs to know that they can be protected safely in the event of a fire.

The second generation of Sherwin-Williams intumescent fire protection coatings — the FIRETEX FX6000 series — enables architects to break free from some of the constraints of yesterday’s products, and reduces the need for repairs on-site thanks to their exceptional durability.

Part of the FX6000 range, the patented FIRETEX FX6002 technology employs a unique chemically-cured binder system to produce a tough and durable intumescent coating which dries in as little as one hour compared with days or longer for other conventional products.

Enhanced stability for steel structures

The unparalleled drying time of the FIRETEX FX6002 coating results in faster overall project completion, reduced costs, up to 120 minutes of fire protection, and long-term corrosion protection of the steelwork with the benefit of enhanced stability for steel structures in the event of a real fire. From an environmental perspective, FIRETEX FX6002 contains low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as compared to some of today's water-based intumescent coatings.

Rigorously fire-tested under the requirements of Australian Standards AS4100-1998, as well as European fire testing standard EN13381-8 & 9, and British standard BS 476-20 & 21 for structural steelwork and cellular beams, the technology is also independently certified under the Certifire scheme, and in durability testing under EN16623 it meets the requirements for internal, semi-exposed and exposed locations, up to and including Type X classification.

Leveraging the independently accredited FIRETEX Design Estimator (FDE) software by Sherwin-Williams, FIRETEX FX6002 can be fully incorporated into a project’s design model and Building Information Modelling (BIM) operations. With the use of BIM, workflow efficiency is dramatically enhanced. For example, a 15-storey model full of varying-span cellular beams takes less than four hours to complete — a vast reduction in time compared to previous averages.

Taking the development of software further, Sherwin-Williams experts recognised the need for a technology that would enable an accurate and risk-free design process to allow the dry film thicknesses (DFTs) of its intumescent coatings to be seamlessly incorporated into the project’s 3D model. In developing a relationship with one of the world’s leading software technology solutions companies, the Sherwin-Williams team created a secure plug-in linked to its own software capable of handling virtually any dry film thickness complexity.

Peace of mind and safety

The software plug-in has the added benefit of colour filtering to allow 3D analysis of the coating properties and enables accurate calculations for new developments as modern building design becomes increasingly complex, offering architects confidence, efficiency and peace of mind with safety built into the process. Designed for use across multiple steelwork, construction and maintenance sectors, these technologies are an ideal solution for intumescent passive fire protection of complex modern steel structures worldwide, including offices, retail, residential, warehousing, airports and healthcare developments.

Projects that have leveraged the FIRETEX range of fire protection coatings include landmark construction and engineering developments such as London’s The Shard, The Brunel Building and the Leadenhall Building, and Azerbaijan’s Flame Towers. In addition to those prestigious global projects, Sherwin-Williams has recently supplied FIRETEX FX6002 locally to the Sydney Modern Art Gallery project and Jubilee Place in Brisbane, delivering benefits in offsite application program efficiency, superior aesthetics and significant cost savings.

For more information on FIRETEX FX6002, visit the Sherwin-Williams website or contact Sherwin-Williams at pmanz@sherwin.com or 132 101.

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