Intumescent Paint Contractors Cape Town


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Industrial & Commercial Fire Protection in Western Cape

  • Our coatings suppliers are Market Leaders
  • Fire protection with paint systems
  • Key asset for passive fire protection
  • Specified application methods & paint systems
  • Protecting the structural framework
  • Intumescent protection on steel surfaces
  • Operational environments are unique. We will find a protection plan which suits your business
  • Extends the length of time a building can withstand high temperatures
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Why Protective Coatings Cape Town?

  • Mobility - we cover the Western Cape
  • Our Supervisors and Painters are certified
  • Specifications are graded on a site specific basis
  • We work very closely with our coatings suppliers
  • Adherence to supplier application directives
  • Quality control during application of coatings
  • We are in compliance with all relevant legislation
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Intumescent Paint Contractors Cape Town and Western Cape

Fire Retardant Solutions Cape Town For Fire Protection

Intumescent coatings, often referred to as intumescent paint, are used in building structures as a passive fire resistance measure. They can be applied to structural members as an aesthetically pleasing fireproofing product.

Intumescent paint is a key asset for passive fire protection. By protecting the structural framework, intumescent paint extends the length of time a building can withstand high temperatures. This could make the difference between fully evacuating a building, and putting the lives of occupants and firefighters at risk.

All regularly used construction materials lose strength when subjected to high enough temperatures. In extraordinary instances, steel may buckle and collapse within a few minutes. In the event of fire, our fire protection coatings expand to develop a layer of carbon char. This insulates the steel beneath, enabling it to retain its load-bearing ability to as much as 120 minutes and providing people valuable time to evacuate.

At Intumescent Paint Contractors Cape Town, strict adherence to supplier application directives is enforced which allows for long term results and superior quality.

Intumescent Paint Contractors Cape Town – More on Intumescent Coatings

Why is intumescent paint for steel essential

Steel is a tough and strong construction material, used in buildings across the country. Having said that, this strength is challenged by the severe heat of a fire. During a fire, it can take only minutes for unprotected steel to reach the critical failure temperature of 550 degrees Celsius, at which point it loses its capacity to bear heavy loads, leading to structural collapse. In fact, strength loss starts already at 300 degrees Celsius, which is why you need fire protection for steel.

How does intumescent paint protect the substrate

Intumescent paints protect their steel substrate by providing an insulating layer between steel and the fire. Exposure to the heat of a fire triggers a reaction, causing the intumescent paint to expand to up to 50 times its thickness and form a solid foam-like char. This char insulates the steel from the heat, so prolonging the time before it reaches the temperatures that would compromise it. Intumescent paint is the most common fire protection paint for steel and applied by Intumescent Paint Contractors Cape Town.

How does fire retardent paint protect the substrate

A fire retardant paint works by releasing flame-damping gas when heated, which prevents the spread of flame across a surface, usually walls and ceilings. It is less common to use fire retardant paints for steel structures, because they do not have the same insulating properties of intumescent paint. Therefore, this flame resistant paint for metal is usually a topcoat on another anti fire paint and often called flame resistant paint for metal.

Using a combination of intumescent paint and fire retardent paint

For the most effective fireproof paint system, you can use these two paints together, with fire retardant paint as a top coat over intumescent paint. In this case, the flame retarding action prevents the intumescent paint from triggering, adding vital extra time.

Intumescent Paint Contractors Cape Town – Groups of Coatings

Groups of intumescent coatings for steel

Intumescent coatings can be divided into two broad groups based on how they are applied, namely thin film and thick film coatings. Thin film materials are either solvent based or water based and are mainly used for preventing fires in building. Thick film coatings were originally developed for the off-shore and hydrocarbon industries but have been modified for use in buildings.

Thin film fire resistant paint for steel

Thin film fire resistant paint for steel systems generally have three components, a primer, a basecoat, and a sealer coat. These paints are mainly used for 30, 60, and 90 minutes. Thin film materials have a 50:1 expansion ratio. The 1 mm thick coating will expand to about 50mm in a fire. These coatings are available in a range of finishes.

Thick film intumescent paint for steel

Thick films have a higher dry film thickness than thin film coatings, and are usually epoxy based. Originally developed for use with hydrocarbon fires, thick film materials are now also used in harsh or difficult to maintain environments where thin film materials would not work optimally. Examples include external steel in high rise buildings and exposed marine environments. Expansion ratios are typically about 5:1, and attractive finishes are also possible.

Determining the fire protection needed

Hydrocarbon vs cellulosic passive fire protection. Not all fires are the same, and the location of the fire will determine the speed and heat of the blaze. Hydrocarbon fires are those that burn because of a combustible liquid or accelerator like petrol or chemicals. They burn hot and extremely fast. Cellulosic fires are those where the fuel source is cellulose – wood, cardboard, paper, cotton, and similar materials. They take longer to reach their peak heat than a hydrocarbon fire, and will not burn as hot. There are also jet fires (a special type of hydrocarbon fire) and rapid rise fires (tunnels, nuclear fires).

Knowing the type of fire that your property is likely to experience is important for choosing the right intumescent paint system. Coating manufacturers develop intumescent coatings as solutions for specific grades of fire protection, climate and exposure, and application techniques. Cellulosic passive fire protection is ‘Category 1’ and hydrocarbon passive fire protection is ‘Category 2’. Commercial and architectural installations like tall buildings, stadiums, or bridges are usually Category 1, while industrial and offshore installations like refineries, oil and gas platforms and chemical plants include the more heavy duty Category 2 protection.

Intumescent Paint Contractors Cape Town – Advantages of Intumescent Fire Protection Paint

Intumescent paint acts as an insulator

Available in either water-based or solvent-based solutions, intumescent paint contains a huge amount of hydrates that have evaporation effects. Whilst this kind of paint remains dormant at low temperatures, it provides insulation as a reaction to high temperatures of about 200-250 Degrees Celsius. When this happens, the paint expands significantly, becoming a layer of low-conductivity char which shields structural items from malformation and damage.

It Can provide a stunning finish

Apart from acting as a great insulator, intumescent paint allows the final layer to be mixed with pigments and provide an aesthetically pleasing finish that further enhances the appearance of exposed steelworks. This is the reason why it remains a favourite in both architectural and large public buildings alike.

It has various application possibilities

Another advantage of utilising intumescent paint is its capacity to be applied in different areas of a building and on various materials such as metal, concrete, chipboard, plasterboard, brick, softwoods, hardwoods and medium density fibreboard.

Why choose Intumescent Paint Contractors Cape Town?

Being professional painting and decorating contractors with over 20 years of experience in the redecorating industry, Protective Coatings Cape Town embarked on a new road and now specialises in the application of Intumescent Fire Protection Paint. Rest assured that we only provide the highest standards of work, established by our commitment to professionalism, expertise, flexibility and quality customer service.

Contact us on 087 550 7676 to discuss your next development project with us.

Topic: Intumescent Paint Contractors Cape Town

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Somerset West
South Africa

087 550 7676
061 235 6768

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