Intumescent paint is a fire-resistant coating that expands when exposed to high temperatures. This expansion helps create a protective layer around the surface, providing a barrier against fire and heat. Its thick consistency also works to reduce heat transfer and it is often used on girders and steel beams to protect the structural integrity of a building in the event of a fire.
It is also often resistant to water, steady temperatures and chemical spills, which makes it an ideal choice for protecting surfaces. We can apply coatings of intumescent paint onsite or offsite, depending on your needs.
In the event of a fire, an intumescent paint layer on steel beams creates a protective barrier that bubbles when it comes into contact with flames. A ‘charred’ effect is then seen, meaning that the paint is working.
Intumescent paint has a rating which shows how long it will offer protection (e.g. 60 mins).
Intumescent Paint for Wood
Intumescent paint can also be applied to wood, meaning that structural wood will stay intact in the event of a fire. Intumescent paint has different elements that are triggered when the paint is in an atmosphere of more than 120 degrees.
A catalyst which decomposes to produce a mineral acid.
A carbonific such as starch combines with the mineral acid to form a large volume of carbonaceous char.
A binder or resin which softens.
A spumific agent which decomposes together with the melting of the binder, to liberate large volumes of non-flammable gases. These gases include carbon dioxide, ammonia and water vapour. The production of these gases causes the carbonaceous char to swell or foam and expand to provide an insulating layer many times the original coating thickness.
Fire Retardant Paint
Don’t be mistaken, this is not the same as intumescent paint.
Fire retardant paint is often used on timber and what it does is essentially prevent oxygen from penetrating the wood.
Intumescent Painting FAQs
Is intumescent paint mandatory for commercial businesses?
In some cases, yes. Please check with your local building authority for advice.
How long does intumescent paint work?
It can vary, but typically speaking, we will supply paints that will work for 30, 60, or 120 minutes.
Can I buy intumescent paint from my local hardware shop?
No. We attain our intumescent paint from our specialist supplier.
How long does it take to apply?
This can depend on whether we are applying it onsite or offsite, and the scale of the building.