Why is it a good idea to apply an intumescent coating for steel?

Time can be your deadly enemy when a fire breaks out. At that point, every minute can become the point of no return, no matter how advanced your security system is. That’s why you should implement precautionary measures and ensure you’ll have time to evacuate people and put out the fire. High temperatures can affect steelwork, making it inferior in its load-bearing capabilities. However, treating it with intumescent paint for steel can make the difference.

The primary reason steel beams and other structures should be covered with intumescent paint is that it provides those valuable minutes to take measures before the construction collapses.

Have you never heard of intumescent paint? Let’s get down to brass tacks.

Properties of fireproof paint for steel

Steel gains momentum in the construction industry as a load-bearing element in private and industrial buildings. Despite its outstanding firmness and durability, it has many weak spots, including fire resistance.

It takes just a few minutes for the steel temperature to rise to 600°C during a fire breakout. To adequately respond to it and increase the time it takes for the alloy to reach its critical thermal point, you can apply an intumescent coating for steel. It’s formulated to stand up to the 600°C temperature while bringing the necessary anti-fire capabilities to steel objects in an emergency.

When steel constructions are coated with intumescent paint, an immediate chemical reaction starts once the temperature they are exposed to goes up. That’s when the topcoat drastically bulges, creating a heat barrier. The effect may last for up to 120 minutes, depending on the type of fire paint for steel. The exact fireproofing duration is usually specified on the package this paint comes in.

How to apply intumescent paint for steel?

Whether you’re involved in shipbuilding, oil and gas, construction, or any other industry where steel is used as the backbone of structures, you should always take intumescent paint seriously. Nobody is safe from an emergency caused by human error, technical failures, or calamities. That’s why it’s crucial to have enough time to mitigate the situation and save as many lives as possible.

When dealing with fireproof paint for steel, you should precisely follow the manufacturer’s mixing and coating guidelines. Whether it’s about treating the surface with air pressure or applying a primer, don’t turn a blind eye to it.

Using a spray gun is the most convenient and effective way to create a protective layer on the steel surface. Just have an eye on the thickness to ensure it matches the heating rate. You can apply fire paint for steel right on the surface, make it into a middle layer, or a topcoat. In all cases, check out its compatibility with other agents. Also, you want to create a topcoat over fire paint if the humidity level is high in the place where intumescent paint is used.

So should you apply it?

As part of passive fire protection, intumescent paint allows you to cushion the blow of a fire situation. This coating slows down fire spreading and gives you additional time to save the lives of your beloved ones, employees, or customers.