You might well ask why the need to protect structural members from fire if they do not burn? When temperatures rise above 540°C for steel placed under load, they start to lose their design margin of safety and buckle. In the case of concrete, at 300°C, irreversible chemical changes occur which leads to catastrophic failure. As a result, the building’s integrity and compartmentalisation may be compromised. The compartmentalisation of the building with fire walls and floors, the fire rating of which can be enhanced with fire resistant intumescent or cementitious coatings is commonly referred to as STRUCTURAL FIRE PROTECTION.
No matter which FIRE RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION is adopted in the end, it is important that the system is durable enough to withstand the velocity of the fire and in some cases direct flame impingement (Jet-Fire or hydrocarbon fires). In a commercial building, we are likely that the structure will have to ensure a cellulosic type fire, however in the case of Oil or Gas processing plant, a rapid rise fire fuelled by hydrocarbons is more likely, with higher intensity and temperatures.
LAF has numerous systems which are used to fire protect structural steel as well as concrete, composite and timber. From Vermitex® AF to Vermitex® TH, all of our systems have been tested and applied to a vast array of building elements, with different shapes and sizes. Our coatings are lightweight coatings designed for mechanical spray application direct to steel, concrete and other substrates, in most cases without the aid of mechanical reinforcement. They are non-combustible cementitious types of compounds specially formulated to provide passive fire protection to elements of building construction.