Intumescent Fire Protection Painting for Steel & Concrete

Are you looking for an Intumescent Painting Contractor?

Our intumescent fire protection services provide protection against fire for up to 2 hours and are guaranteed for up to 30 years! Intumescent painting is a legal requirement for commercial and public buildings in the UK. It buys time in the event of a fire giving people a better chance to escape from danger. Intumescent fire protective coatings also provide the emergency services with more time to bring a fire under control and save the structure.

intumescent fire protection coating multistorey car park

We provide comprehensive intumescent fire protection services for steel, concrete, timber, storage tanks, and brick structures. Operating a fleet of vehicles with teams of technicians nationwide we are fully equipped to take on projects across the UK & Ireland.

We work both directly with our own clients and as sub-contractors for architects and building management companies. We specialise in structural fire protection for steel, cementitious structures, wooden members and container tanks and vessels.

Our Intumescent Fire Protection Services Include

  • Intumescent Fire Protection for Steel
  • Intumescent Fire Protection for Concrete
  • Soffit & Member Works to Car Parks
  • Firestopping for Walls & Floors
  • On-site Thickness Checks & Certification
  • Insulation to Roof Spaces
  • Cavity Barriers to Ceiling Voids
  • Timber Fire Protection

What is Intumescent Fire Protection?

In a nutshell Intumescent fireproofing prolongs the integrity of the steel or concrete structure of a building in the event of fire and therefore saves lives! Its basically a layer of paint which is applied in addition to the original coating system.

It is categorised as a type of passive fire protection. As the name suggests, passive fire protection remains inactive and dormant during normal conditions and will become active if fire occurs. Visit Wikipedia for more detailed information about intumescent substances.

There are primarily two types of passive fire protection, intumescent fire protection and vermiculite fire protection. Both are integral components in protecting buildings against fire.

Intumescent fire protection

An intumescent coating will swell as a result of exposure to heat from a fire. Most construction materials including steel and concrete, have a certain level of natural resistance to fire. Intumescent fire protection enhances the fire resistance of these materials.

Under load steel will start to buckle and move when temperatures reach 550°C and in a steel framed building this will compromise its stability and compartmentation.

Vermiculite fire protection

Vermiculite fire protection involves covering the steel structural components of a building with vermiculite materials. This is a less expensive process compared with the intumescent option. However it is aesthetically unpleasant and not suitable for public areas such as retail outlets, offices, restaurants and public spaces.

Additionally the vermiculite fire protection option can be problematic in corrosive environments such as rainy climates like that of the UK. Water can get in and begin corroding the encased steel and concrete which is difficult to monitor. Therefore without regular maintenance this option is not advisable.

A Video about Fire Protection by ASFP

There are 2 types of intumescent coatings, Soft Char and Hard Char

Soft char

Soft char intumescent paints produce a light char which is a good heat retardant. Soft char producers are typically used in thin film intumescents for fireproofing structural steel as well as in firestop pillows. The coatings we use at D&D Coatings contain a high level of hydrates.

In the event of fire water vapour (the hydrates) is released, resulting in a cooling effect. Once all the vapour has been released the remaining char will slow heat transfer to the substrate. We use soft char intumescent paints primarily to protect structural steel and concrete internally.

Hard char

Hard char intumescent paints produce a hard char, another very good fire retardant. Harder chars are made with sodium silicates and graphite. These paints are mostly used for plastic pipe protection but can also be used as exterior steel fireproofing. Intumescent coatings that produce hard chars are unsuitable for interior spray fireproofing.

How are intumescent coatings applied?

Here at D&D Coatings our specialist technicians are fully trained and experienced in the application of intumescent fire protection. They apply the paint in layers, a base coat, intermediate coat and top finishing coat. The base coat is the element of the system that reacts to the heat generated by fire.

Typically we spray apply the coats to the substrate. The final thickness can be anywhere between 350 and 700 micrometers. This results in a more atheistically pleasing finish and another reason why intumescent fire protection is favoured over vermiculite fire protection.

Fire resistance for steel and concrete can be enhanced further by the application of sprayed cementitious coatings. Cementitious fire spray can be applied quickly and will provide up to 240 minute’s of fire protection to structural steelwork.

However please note this is a non decorative mortar material which is also intended to withstand impact and abrasion. Its best suited for use in commercial and industrial areas such as car parks, roof voids, manufacturing plants, storage facilities and so on.

How does intumescent paint work in a fire?

how intumescent paint works fire

What are the benefits of using intumescent coatings?

Intumescent paint is applied in thin layers and is the most aesthetically pleasing finish in fire protection. Architects generally prefer intumescent coatings due to their versatility and colour range.

This is particularly the case when used on steelwork. Intumescent paint can compliment an building design by enhancing the appearance of any exposed steel members. It enables more creative freedom for architects especially when used in large public buildings.

We can also apply Intumescent coatings to structural timber members. With wood however, slowing down of the spread of fire and smoke is the primary purpose, heat protection is secondary.

Are there any problems with using intumescent coatings?

Intumescent coatings are not perfectly smooth like the steel or concrete they are protecting. Instead the have a texture similar to the skin of an orange fruit. This can sometimes be undesirable for architects when they have specified a smooth finish in their designs.

Sanding before applying a finishing coat can often solve this. However this is labour intensive so we suggest consultation regarding this matter prior to commencing any project. If required we can provide a sample of the finished coating for assessment.

Additional problems are the susceptibility of some intumescent coatings to environmental influences such as UV and humidity. This can reduce or negate the ability of the intumescent system to function.

Call us today on 01606 554040 to discuss your Intumescent Requirements

Alternatively please complete the form below and we will respond to your enquiry as soon as we can, thank you!

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