fire rated paint for steel on stairs to slow down burning

Secure your building’s fire resistance with intumescent paint

Materials such as wood and steel are used in building constructions due to their strength. However, they both have a pitfall: poor fire resistance. If steel structures become exposed to high heat (above 300°C)  like in case of a fire, they start losing their load bearing capacity. Wood, in turn, catches fire easily. Fortunately, both of these materials can be protected from the effects of fire with intumescent paint which is the  number one in protecting steel and wood structures from fire: it is a layer of coating which can expand 50 times its original thickness when exposed to fire.

The swelling reaction of intumescent paint starts at about 250°C and forms an insulating char onto the surface. This is how intumescent paint for steel and wood prevents surfaces from catching fire and slows down the overall burning process of a building. By applying intumescent paint Singapore ‘s houses and other buildings’ safety can be increased. In this article we take a closer look at intumescent paint for steel and wood: the different types and products as well as professional services in Singapore.

How intumescent paint for steel and wood works

The intumescent paint application can take place on various substrates including concrete, plaster, textile, steel and wood. The two latter are by far the most common intumescent paint applications. Here we explain intumescent paint for steel and wood more into detail and provide you with a couple of product examples. from different intumescent paint suppliers.

Intumescent paint for steel as hard and soft char coatings

Intumescent paint for steel exists as two types of coatings: hard char and soft char paint which have different applications and uses. The Soft char coatings are also known as thin film intumescents due to their application thickness. Hard char coatings, for their part, were originally developed for combating hydrocarbon fires but now has more applications. These coatings provide fire protection for 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes depending on the product.

applying intumescent paint for steel structure in Singapore

Intumescent paint for steel can be a thin film, soft char coating.

1. Soft char intumescent coatings

Intumescent reaction: results from a chemical reaction between ammonium, polyphosphate, pentaerythritol and melamine. Also other water and solvent based systems exist.
Fire resistance: for 30, 60 and 90 minutes protection (also industrial 120 minute coatings are available)
Expansion ratio: 50:1
Applications: intumescent steelwork coating on structural steel in constructions

2. Hard char coatings

Intumescent reaction: results from graphite and silica
Fire resistance: for 90- 120 minutes fire protection (some industrial intumescent coatings up to 4 hours protection)
Expansion ratio: 5:1
Applications: intumescent paint for steel in harsh environments such as marine and offshore. Also for steelwork in exteriors of high rise buildings. Not suitable for interior use.

Fire protection with intumescent coatings for wood

The principles of intumescent coatings for wood are the same as for steel. However, the wood coatings are always thin film systems. Also wood ca be protected for 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes depending on the coating. The products for wood exist as clear and pigmented paints and varnishes as well as wood preservatives which soak into the wood. These coatings can be applied in different ways:

intumescent paint cost being lower for wood

Intumescent coatings for wood can be applied onsite as a spray application.

  1. Offsite application – industrial intumescent paint for wood is usually applied before the timber is put into a construction. This is done to guarantee covering as large an area as possible and achieve optimal protection. Offsite applied intumescent coatings for wood protect for up to 120 minutes.
    Example: TEKNOS Teknosafe 2407-00
  2. Onsite application – the onsite applied coatings are either the first layer of the system or the one applied on a special primer. These products protect for 60 to 120 minutes depending on the required fire resistance.
    Example: Sayerlack (Sherwin Williams) and Envirograf intumescent varnish for wood
  3. At home – the consumer intumescent paint for wood exists in two types; one that can be applied to previously painted substrates and another that is suitable for direct to wood applications. Protection for 30 to 60 minutes can be achieved.

The intumescent coatings for wood can be topped up with a fire retardant, flame damping coating which completes the system and increases protection.

How to draw up intumescent paint cost estimations

Intumescent paint cost is not the lowest comparing to other, more traditional coatings. Firstly, some intumescent coatings, especially hard char, have a low coverage rate. One litre of the coating covers 1 – 7 m² and covering one square metre can cost anything between $5 and $65. The big differences in intumescent paint cost derives from the great variety of available products. In general thin film intumescent paint for steel and wood are less expensive compared to heavy industrial hard char coatings.

An intumescent paint application is almost predominantly an industrial or expert application carried out by trained and certified professionals, which adds to the total cost. Additionally, fire protection coatings may be a compulsory part of the construction, which means that a certificate is needed. Certification may increase the costs.

The best way of getting a more accurate cost estimate, is to provide an applicator with as many details as possible and enquire for an offer. In case you wish to get an estimate for your project or simply want to find a suitable product for the application, do not hesitate to contact us. Our coating specialists’ expertise is at your disposal! Just send us an email or share your project details via the “request a quote” button at the end of this article.

Intumescent paint suppliers & manufacturers in Singapore

With increasing amount of applications of intumescent paint Singapore is becoming more and more “fire proof” and as the use of intumescent materials is an ever-growing trend especially in the construction sector, there are also numerous manufacturers and suppliers who provide the market. Here below you can find some of the intumescent paint suppliers active in Singapore. Note that the list is much longer: more products are available in Singapore. For more information, contact us.

Intumescent coating supplierAddress
Nullfire Asia5001 Beach Road #08-54, Golden Mile Complex Singapore 199568
9 Reno PTE LimitedBlk 531 Upper Cross Street, #04-49 Hong Lim Complex Singapore 050531
Sika Singapore Pte Ltd66A Sungei Kadut Street, 1 #04-00 Singapore 729368
BFT Brandschutz Fire Technology Pte Ltd10 Ubi Crescent, #04-60, Ubi TechPark Lobby D, Singapore 408564
K. A. Group Holdings Pte. Ltd10 Ubi Crescent, #06-99, Ubi Techpark Lobby E, Singapore 408564