Family of intumescent materials

Fire is one of the greatest calamities that continue to haunt humans with its furry and unexpected propulsion. Unless controlled, it often leads to numerous deaths and damage to property. Despite customary anti-fire methods, it is fairly regular event, owing to growing use of electrical appliances, faulty constructions, use of inflammable paints and resins in the living space. In an urbanized residential area, it is important that advanced fire safety measures are taken care of. Consulting with professional fire protection companies and executives makes certain the security of family members, employees, pets and property. Only   professional fire protection service provider can acknowledge the importance of using fireproofing treatments. These treatments comprise the use of following materials-

  1. Intumescent coatings and collars
  2. Vermiculite plasters
  3. Fire and smoke curtains
  4. Fire-sealing and ducting

Out of all of the above safety measures, the use of Intumescent castings and fire collars has found a large scale application in modern day construction norms.


Classification of intumescent

An intumescent substance is a chemical compound that has a physical property of swelling in dimensions when exposed to heat. Scientifically, any increase in its volume corresponds to a decrease in its density. Intumescents are characteristically used in passive fire protection (PFP) systems in the western countries. Intumescent fire collars and plasters used in PFP systems ensure fire proofing and fire stopping in buildings, marine constructions, ships and airplanes. They are also used in gasketing and window casings. The intumescent materials are classified under 2 categories-

  1. Soft Char
  2. Hard Char

In addition to ensure fire safety, intumescent coatings are also used to enforce structural stability of steel and improve its appearance. It is majorly anti-corrosive and water-resistant in its chemical composition.

Intumescent materials in fire stopping system are used in following structural forms-

1.      Intumescent fire collars
2.       Pipe wraps
3.       Sleeves

These structures are used in intensive network of pipes running through concrete structures like walls, floors and ceilings. Principally, the Intumescent materials expand when fire enrages around it, squeezing the PVC pipes. This physical bursting of pipes prevents the spreading of flame and smoke from holes, orifices and crevices. Fire collars or fire pipe collars are set up coiling the plastic soil and waste pipes

Following substances are commonly used as intumscent fire proof agents-

  1. Graphite
  2. Sodium silicate
  3. Epoxy castings
  4. Palusol putties
  5. Foam rubbers
  6. Rockwool bats and resins
  7. Fomox

Benefits of using Intumescents- Compliance with norms

Intumescents ensure physical compliance with all safety and building norms. They offer protection against fire for up to 5-hours, thus are more secure. They last long against physical damage and are more resilient against corrosion. They are easy to install and hardly require any design modification. Highly compatible, these substances can be easy repaired in fragments and not as a whole. Intumescent materials have to undergo rigorous testing and quality assurance processes to ensure they don’t falter in actual event of a fire. They have to graduate under the Certification listing before being used in the construction process. Certificates are issued by organizations which have the autonomy to perform tests and product validation, compliant with nationally accredited norms.

The author is a Fire solution expert working on internal safety installments in buildings, plantations, zoos and ships with His work is highly valued among domestic home designers and project engineers. His articles cover traditional safety procedures in addition to all modern day techniques.

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