Specialist Coating Now Approved for Concrete

A specialist fire resistance coating has been approved for use with concrete structures, offering important advances in safety and time of construction projects.

Specifically developed by Sherwin-Williams to allow easy and fast airless spray application on structural steel, FIRETEX FX5120 is a water-based intumescent coating which now brings major benefits to contractors needing to protect concrete.

Experts at the Sherwin-Williams Protective and Marine Coatings division developed FX5120 to offer substantial cost and time savings, with the advantage of not causing or releasing dust and fibres while in service as the product’s paint coating is bound with an acrylic resin.

With substantial weight and space savings, the coating offers approval under EN 13381 Part 3 for concrete structures.

Rick Perkins, FIRETEX project development manager at Sherwin-Williams, warns that fire resistance for concrete should be considered at design stage as it can often be difficult and expensive to increase fire resistance once a concrete structure is complete.

He said: “This coating has a great reputation in the industry for the protection it offers steel structures.

“We have seen real demand, particularly from Europe, for an intumescent coating which can be used to increase the fire resistance of concrete structures too.

“It is also a step forward aesthetically, and we are experiencing real interest in the product from the market, particularly in relation to building refurbishments where its ease of application will be a real bonus.”

Tests show that 1.5mm of FX5120 can increase the fire resistance of a concrete structure by as much as 35mm of concrete.

Concrete has some degree of inherent resistance to the effects of fire, retaining its structure even when exposed to a fire fuelled by cellulosic material such as wood or paper.

However, in older buildings where the fire protection needs to be enhanced, architects would traditionally increase the thickness of the concrete, install mineral fibre boards or turn to spray-applied mineral fibre products.

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