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Intumescent Paint For Fireproofing

By Author: Julia Bennet
Total Articles: 395

A lot of people all around the world have been losing lives and property to fire. Fire is one of the major causes of destruction and death in the world. This is the reason why builders and engineers are taking extra care in the construction of commercial as well as non-commercial structures and safeguarding them against fire. There are various types of materials employed to combat a fire breakout. Intumescent paint is one such material. It has the property of expanding when in contact with fire. This helps in prevent the fire from spreading. Proper layering of the steelwork and timberwork secures your buildings. This makes intumescent paint applicators very important for fire safety.

Intumescent paint applicators are not general building painters. They go through proper training and undertake courses to become authorized for the job. Training programmes provide in-depth knowledge of intumescent paint coating technique. The paint employs various technologies. It mainly works on the formation of an insulating foam of ‘char’ that blocks the passage for the fire to propagate further. The expansion occurs due to presence of chemicals such as melamine, starch, ammonium polyphosphate etc.

Soft char produced from intumescent paint is a poor conductor of heat that retards heat transfer. Soft char producing paints contain hydrates that produce water vapour when in contact with fire. This water vapour has a cooling effect and deters fire. Such paints are good for fireproofing structural steel. Hard char producing paints contain sodium silicates and graphite. These are used in fireproofing plastic pipes which on contact with fire start to melt and squeeze and shut to prevent the fire from spreading further. Intumescent paint applicators have proper knowledge of all the factors that affect the application of the paint. From temperature to humidity to the application surface, these professionals are trained to deal with all parameters.

Intumescent paint should be applied thin enough to not change the look of the surface and thick enough to combat fire. Some essential features of a good fire fighting paint are that it should be lightweight and durable. It should have a good finish to add to the look and should readily adhere to the surface on which it is applied. It should be easy to apply, dry fast and not always need a top seal. Intumescent paint applicators are efficient in applying very thin coats of the paint and maintain a uniform thickness.

Previously, solvent-based intumescent paints were used. They were replaced by water-based paints because of several setbacks. Solvent-based paints have high VOC content due to which they release highly hazardous fumes. These emissions can cause health hazards. Also they have an obnoxious smell. Water-based paints were improved to prevent all these. They are odourless, emission-free, environment-friendly and require no special storage facility. They produce less amount of waste and have a hard finish which makes them suitable for exposed steelwork structures. Licensed intumescent paint applicators are approved by the government. They are thoroughly trained and examined before they are given the license.

Intumescent paint expands on contact with fire. Intumescent paint applicators are trained in fireproofing buildings.

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