Fireproofing provides fire resistance to materials and structures, allowing critical structures to continue operating in the event of an accidental fire until the fire is brought under control. Fireproofing is the application of certain products over materials or structures to reduce the escalation of fire and thus give plant operators enough time to act against the fire. There are several different methods of fireproofing structural steel members Gardena. These include rigid board fireproofing, flexible blankets, and spray-applied fire-resistance materials. Learn about them in this article.
Rigid Board Fireproofing
Intumescent products are often applied to protect structural steel, but surface preparation can be costly and time-consuming. A much easier alternative is rigid board fireproofing. These products are installed as needed and can be applied to many substrates, including wood.
Intumescent coatings are factory-mixed liquid paint-like substances that expand to 100 times their original density and form a fire-resistant barrier. Rigid board fireproofing uses a mineral wool board and provides fire resistance ratings for up to four hours. These products are also available in different thicknesses, enabling their use in various applications. Rigid board fireproofing for structural steel is environmentally friendly but requires more space than the other two options.
Fire-resistant structural steel can be protected using flexible blankets. These blankets are practical and easy to install. They can be applied to complex shapes and meet fire safety codes. Flexible blanket systems are available from limited manufacturers. These blankets are easy to install and can even be applied during the steel beam installation process. Here are some of the advantages of flexible blankets for structural steel:
Enhanced accessibility: Since the blankets are pre-engineered, they provide easy access to critical control elements such as the pressure relief system and access doors. It reduces the number of inspections and repair times. Moreover, they can withstand repeated heating and cooling cycles without losing their thermal properties. The pre-engineered design also makes it possible to extend the fireproofing blankets outside the structure.
Sprayed Fire-Resistive Material
Many building codes require using a sprayed fire-resistive material (SFRM) on structural steel. This material is a chemical mixture applied to steel beams, columns, and other components of buildings. It is applied wet or dry and has various thermal and acoustic properties. As a result, it is a great choice for preventing the failure of steel and concrete structures and can even be used as an acoustic insulator.
To determine a building’s fire resistance, it is important to consider a few key factors. For example, suppose structural steel is used for a high-rise building. In that case, the fire-resistance rating of the building will play a vital role in facilitating the evacuation of the occupants and allowing firefighting measures to be effective. Therefore, when choosing a spray-applied fire-resistive material for structural steel, the construction site must determine the structure’s exact thickness requirements and fire-resistance ratings.