Thursday, 9 April 2009
Protection of substrates against fire damage can be critical to saving lives. In many cases, fire protection additives cannot be incorporated directly into substrates or cannot achieve adequatelevels of protection. In such cases, intumescent coatings provide a highly effective solution.
Intumescent coatings provide a highly effective means of protecting substrates from fire damage. All these coatings undergo a similar series of reactions in a fire, creating an insulating foam many times thicker than the original coating. They are commonly applied to steel and wood substrates, but other application areas include electrical cables, textiles and intumescent gel coats for composites. Volker Thewes from Clariant Produkte (Deutschland) gives in the Mai issue of the European Coatings Journal an overview on intumescent coatings and their application potential. According to Thewes the scope for use of composites in areas such as automotive construction can be enhanced by the use intumescent gel coats.