How intumescent coatings work
During a fire the heat causes a chemical reaction making the intumescent coating expand. This expanded layer of char acts as insulation between the steel framework and the fire. Once steel reaches 550°C it’s load bearing capacity is greatly impaired, resulting in possible collapse of the structure. The intumescent coating reacts once temperatures reach 120°C and the chemical reaction gives an insulated layer to protect the structural steelwork.
The additional 2 hours provided by the intumescent coating gives adequate time for employees to evacuate and for the fire service to arrive and deal with the fire.
Intumescent paint can be over painted with a non-bridging water-based latex paint, ideally use minimal coverage.
Intumescent coating guide:
A number of factors must be considered in choosing an intumescent project. The steel structure needs around 50mm of clearance to allow the intumescent coating to expand and do it’s job in the event of a fire.
The quality of workmanship in application of the coating also impacts the effectiveness of the finished project. If poor surface preparation was carried out the coating can de-laminate within a few years. Appropriate primer is another important factor to achieving a long lifespan. This would give reduced fire protection and would probably go unnoticed.
The application of Intumescent coatings is a specialist job, best carried out by professional painting contractors with experience in fire protection coatings.
Our operatives are IPAF trained in the use of cherry pickers; this helps keep access costs down. Anglia Décor are health and safety compliant, with staff trained in first aid, working at height and SSSTS/SMSTS. We are also able to act as main contractors, should a project be HSE notifiable.
New build industrial projects require a fire safety certificate. We would send your building drawings over to an intumescent coating supplier to produce a detailed report on the film thickness required for various structure elements. Once coatings have been applied we apply to the manufacturer for a fire safety certificate for the project.
We also carry out industrial coatings and have IPAF qualified operators.