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Intumescent Paint for Steel

Intumescent paints for steel, structural steel and cast iron at Rawlins Paints are available with 30, 60, 90 and 120-minute fire protection, to accompany fire retardant paints for other surfaces, available here. The intumescent coating products listed on this page are available for interior and exterior use and come in a full range of colours, with full product descriptions available on each item. Most of our fire-resistant paints are easy to apply by brush, roller or spray, with no specialist skills required and fire certificate issued on completion.

Important fire test standards when using intumescent coatings on structural steel constructions are European Union: EN 13381-8 (Replaces national Standards in Europe) and United Kingdom: BS 476-20/21 (Commonly referred to in EU, Middle and Far East).

What Is An Intumescent and How Does Intumescent Paint Work?

Intumescent coatings are passive fire protection measures which swell up when heated (in a fire for example) and protect the material (steel or wood) underneath it, from fire. As the intumescent layer swells up, it increases its surface volume, which then helps to decrease the intensity of the flames. The top coating produces a light char as it is burnt, which makes it a poor conductor of heat and fire spread.

Application of intumescent paint layers helps fireproof structural steel, steel beams, steelwork or cast iron and can be used externally or internally, on small or larger areas. Intumescent coatings are generally available as water-based or solvent based variations (more information below).

Under the intense pressure and heat from a fire, most intumescents work by producing a foam-like substance, from the chemicals in it reacting and releasing a vapour. Upon carbonisation, the foam will solidify to a black material (a char), which insulates and protects the integrity of the steel, cast iron, or wood surface. As the intumescent paint expands (sometimes between 50x and 100x the original coating’s thickness) in the event of a fire, protecting the surface from heat, the surface is not burning, but simply undergoing a catalytic chemical reaction.

Intumescent paints and coatings are generally used in architecture and in the building of structural steel or timber members. They can provide a decorative and aesthetically pleasing finish on previously exposed steel, as well as keeping the material below its critical temperature to maintain its integrity in the outbreak of a fire or heat explosion. Intumescent coatings can be thinner than technically sprayed fireproofing methods.

Customer Service

Applying flame retardant paint to steelwork can be easy and we can help you ensure you achieve the protection you require and guarantee yourself a fire certificate. The more information you give us about the steel you must protect, the more accurate we can be with our specification saving you money. We prefer to speak to our customers prior to them purchasing these intumescent paints to make sure you're getting the right product and are confident of how to use it correctly.