Understanding Intumescent Paint and Fireproofing Your Industrial Assets

Fire protection is an integral part of any industrial building. It helps safeguard the contents of the building, from expensive assets to priceless employees. Intumescent paint is often used in tandem with other fire prevention and suppression measures, making a remarkable difference during industrial fires.



What is Intumescent Paint?

Intumescent paint or coatings are a form of passive fire protection. The coatings are designed to thermally insulate structural materials underneath, like steel or timber, during a fire, protecting the material from burning. This helps slow the fire and prevent the premature collapse of the steel or wood due to high temperatures.

In addition to adding a layer of passive fire protection, intumescent fireproofing paint helps safeguard the steel structural components from the whittling powers of corrosion.

How Intumescent Paint Works

The workings of intumescent paint are fascinating, as they’re drastically different than other fireproofing measures, like fire retardant paint. When the paint is exposed to the scorching temperatures of a fiery blaze, it undergoes a complicated thermo-chemical reaction.

This reaction causes the coating to expand and become less dense. The thickened coating creates an insulated barrier between the flames and the steel or wood underneath, protecting it from burning immediately.

The paint plays a critical role in slowing or preventing the collapse of structural elements in a building during a fire. For example, steel begins to lose strength in temperatures around 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Since temperatures inside building fires can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the steel may buckle relatively quickly.

Intumescent paint employs a few key components to complete its job, including special binders that adhere the paint to the substrate, flame retardants that minimize flame spread, and reinforcing materials for durability and faster drying.

Intumescent paint coatings provide a vital layer of protection from the fire, giving more time to fight the fire before the building’s structural elements suffer from the heat. In industrial fires, this extra time can make a critical difference in the well-being of staff and assets inside the building.


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Fireproof Your Industrial Assets With Intumescent Paint

Our experienced team at McLean Company can help you protect your industrial building with a coating of intumescent paint. If you’re intrigued and want to learn more or are ready to add a layer of this protective paint to your industrial building, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Call us at (978) 774-4430 or complete our online contact form to start with a free quote.