Structural Steel: Vermiculite Spray and Intumescent Paint

Vermiculite spray fire protection to structural steel
Vermiculite spray fire protection to structural steel
Structural steel are steel members that are essential to the integrity of a structure and are typically protected with vermiculite spray and intumescent paint. Often times some buildings utilise steel for cosmetic purposes or other functions, but not for structural purposes. It is important to confirm whether steel on a project or existing building is structural or not with relevant authorities. In Australia, concrete structures and especially concrete columns are more popular than structural steel but often still incorporate steel works. The United States of America is a good example of a country that prefers structural steel over concrete structures.

Is steel affected by fire?

Yes. Steel obviously takes a lot longer than wood or other materials to lose its shape and integrity in the event of a fire, but is nonetheless affected by fire. An unfortunate example would be the World Trade Centre in New York. Fires in buildings can reach incredible temperatures that twist and deform steel, thus endangering the building itself and other buildings around it.

What passive fire options are there for steel? 

There are a number of options for steel, depending on the FRL that is required, the final aesthetic required, the environment it will be situated in, and even what is most economic. Steel can be protected with board encasement, intumescent paints, cementitious sprays, and vermiculite sprays. Check with Ceasefire PFP to learn what options your project or building can incorporate.

Does it mean if the steel is bigger, the more material I will require?

No, generally speaking, the opposite is true. The bigger and thicker the steel, the less material is required to protect it. This is because the more steel volume there is, the harder it is for fire to transfer heat all the way through.

What is the system that would require the least material and labour?

By far, the best performing products for structural steel are vermiculite and cementitious sprays. Intumescent paint for steel is also an option if the aesthetic finish is a consideration. Whether or not they will be suitable for your project or building is a conversation you can have with relevant stakeholders and Ceasefire PFP. Ceasefire PFP prides itself on having the capabilities to install any of the above systems.


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Why Ceasefire?

Our expertise in passive fire protection encompasses a comprehensive understanding of fire safety principles, building codes, and industry standards. We specialize in the design, installation, and maintenance of passive fire systems, including fire-rated walls, doors, floors, and penetrations. Our team is trained to assess fire risks, develop tailored solutions, and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. With 20+ years of experience in the field, we are committed to providing reliable, cost- effective, and efficient passive fire protection solutions to safeguard lives and properties. All while delivering exceptional client service at every stage of the project.