The reason behind the necessity for fire resistant paint for steel
Strength is one of the main properties which makes steel suitable for use in building construction. Steel is a metal which is a tough construction material, used in buildings across Qatar from private villas to the highest towers. However, this strength is challenged by the severe heat of a fire. In case of fire, it can take only minutes for unprotected steel to reach critical failure temperature of 550ºC, at which it loses its load bearing capacity, leading to structural collapse. In fact, above 300ºC steel begins to lose strength, which is why you need a fire resistant paint for steel.
In this article we outline the different types of fire protection coatings, how to comply with building fireproofing regulations, and where to find fireproof paint for steel products and contractors in Qatar. Starting with the advantages fire resistant paint for steel brings along.
- Allowing firefighters more time to get the fire under control and minimize damage
- Extending crucial evacuation time decreasing the likelihood of casualties
- Preventing structural collapse by offering fire protection up to 2 hours
Choose the type of fire resistant paint for steel best for your project
Fireproof paint can be classified by fire protection method: intumescent or flame retardant. Each of these coating types are further divided by the length of time they provide fire protection for 0.5, 1, 1.5 or 2 hours. Building regulations require different minimum time requirements which vary depending on building type. You can read more about the topic in our general passive fire protection article.
Intumescent paints protect their steel substrate by providing an insulating layer between steel and the fire. Exposure to the heat of a fire triggers a reaction, causing the intumescent paint to expand to up to 50 times its thickness and form a solid foam-like char. This char insulates the steel from the heat, so keeping it below the temperatures that would compromise it. Intumescent paint is the main coating used for steel.
Fire retardant paint
A fire retardant paint works by releasing a fire-damping gas when heated, which prevents the spread of flame across a surface – usually walls and ceilings. It is less common to use fire retardant paints for steel structures, because they do not have the same insulating properties of intumescent paint.
For the most comprehensive fireproof paint system, you can use these two paints together, with fire retardant paint as a top coat over intumescent paint. In this case, the flame retarding action prevents the intumescent paint from triggering, adding vital extra time.
Define the film thickness for your fireproof paint for steel
Fireproofing coatings can be divided into two broad families: thin film and thick film. Thin film materials are either solvent based or water based and are mainly used for building fires. Thick film coatings were originally developed for the off-shore and hydrocarbon industries but have been modified for use in buildings.
Thick film fire resistant paint for steel
Thick films have a higher dry film thickness than thin film coatings, and are usually epoxy based. Originally developed for use with hydrocarbon fires, thick film materials are now also used in harsh or difficult to maintain environments where thin film materials would not work. Examples include external steel in high rise buildings and exposed marine environments. Expansion ratios are typically about 5:1, and different finishes are also possible.
Thin film fire resistant coating for steel
Thin film fireproofing coating systems for steel generally have three components, a primer, a basecoat, and a sealer coat. These paints are mainly used for providing 0.5 h, 1 h, and 1.5 h fire resistance. Thin film materials have a 50:1 expansion ratio; a 1 mm thick coating will expand to about 50mm in a fire. These coatings are both solvent- and water-based, and are available in a range of finishes.
Find fire resistant coating for steel products and service in Qatar
There are many fireproof paint for steel products available on the Qatari market. AkzoNobel, Jotun, Bollom, and Thermoguard all have intumescent ranges. The table below describes several of the products available. Prices and coverages are indications only, and coverage and fire resistance are dependent upon correct application. If you would like any more information regarding fireproofing steel, or would like to be connected with one of our partners for your project, contact us! Our experts are here to help, just use the “Request a quote” button at the bottom of this article and take advantage of our 100% free quote service.