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ARS UK Ltd has it's trained team of fully qualified operatives, and specialist equipment, to handle all of our client's needs for intumescent coatings.
Intumescent Coatings provide a similar finish to that of normal decorative paint. It is perfectly inert at normal temperatures. When subjected to extreme heat (in a fire situation) the raised temperature prompts a chemical reaction, and the intumescent coating then expands to many times it's original thickness. This provides an insulating 'foam-like' barrier which protects the steel substrate.
How do Intumescent Coatings protect the steel substrate? The intumescent coating is designed to insulate the steel substrate, and prevent the temperature of the steel rising above the point where it will start to fail.
The expansion process is a result of the reaction of three accurately formulated components - which are Carbon Supplier + Expanding Agent + Acid Source
These components are mixed in a binder (waterborne or solvent.) Further components are added to the paint to facilitate easy application, enhance faster drying and promote high build.
What happens to the Intumescent Coatings in a fire situation?
The applied heat resulting from a fire starts a chemical reaction. The heat starts to soften the binder and causes the release of an organic acid. Carbonisation of the 'carbon supplier' begins to take place. Gas is then produced as a result of the decomposition of the melamine in the expanding agent, causing the paint film which has now become molten to swell. The process is completed by the foamed 'char' becoming solidified as a result of cross linking reaction. This then provides the necessary insulation to protect the steel.
Intumescent Coatings are given fire ratings which are generally classed by the length of time they will afford protection.
ARS UK applies intumescent coatings with ratings from 30 minutes to 120 minutes.