Using Intumescent Coatings to Achieve Building Code Compliance on Steel Structures

Paper No. 120
Mr Chris Partington1 – 1AKZONNOBEL, Wingfield, Australia


The ever-increasing use of steel as a construction material has led to enhanced flexibility in design, as well as significant time savings in the construction industry. However, its use in social infrastructure and buildings has brought an additional challenge – that of fire safety. In the event of a fire, steel can lose its strength and collapse, resulting in damage to property and in the worst case, loss of life.

Almost all buildings incorporate some fire safety measures.  In the event of a fire, structures are required to maintain their stability for a reasonable period of time to enable occupants to evacuate and to provide safety to fire-fighters.

There are numerous products available to designers to satisfy the fire resistance requirements of their projects.  Understanding passive fire protection technology and the impact of legislation is important to ensure compliance with standards for fire and life safety.

Intumescent coatings provide a cost effective and environmentally method to protect structural steelwork, compared to other traditional methods such as vermiculite spray.

As with any fire protection product, it is important to understand its basis to ensure correct specification and one that is fit for purpose.  This paper outlines some of the key issues that architects, engineers, fabricators, applicators and Approving Authorities should be aware of when dealing with intumescent coatings with the intention of raising awareness and providing an increased level of understanding with Intumescent coating technology

Intumescent technology is described together with key issues relating to structural response, fire types, fire resistance ratings, anti-corrosion performance, specification, certification schemes, application and maintenance, along with an introduction to the new good practice guide for Intumescen