The increasing demands made by architects and designers creating the striking steel structures rising in our towns and major cities travel through the supply chain all the way through to the contractor. For the application of passive fire protection coatings, the contractor needs to be assured that the coating can be applied efficiently without downtime and that it satisfies the agreed requirements of the original specification without compromise, with considerations of speed of construction and occupancy of the building.
In the civil construction industry, most intumescent coatings typically dry by a process of water or solvent evaporation, and when applied at a high film thickness can take some time in the process. In response to the industry’s growing concerns about downtime and time savings, the Sherwin-Williams Innovation and R&D teams have developed the second generation of revolutionary technology under the FIRETEX® FX6000 series.
This technology employs a chemically cured binder system unique in this market to produce a tough and durable intumescent coating with unrivalled benefits to the contractor. The new patented platform, FX6002, dries in as little as one hour compared with days or even longer for other conventional products, enabling huge gains in paint shop productivity and minimizing or eliminating the need for damage repairs after steelwork construction.
The unparalleled drying characteristics result in faster overall project completion and reduced costs, with a coating that provides up to 120-minute fire protection and long-term corrosion protection to the steelwork with enhanced stability for steel structures in the event of a fire.
Faster Scheduling and Delivery
For coatings applied on site, the mechanical toughness of FX6002 means minimal damage from other trades, minimizing rework, and allowing for the rapid application of a decorative topcoat over a shortened coating period with fewer risks of it being affected by bad weather.
The significant time and cost savings result in a more certain scheduling and delivery for the asset owner or manager, and projects including the Crossrail Whitechapel Station in London have already seen similar advantages using the FX6000 technology.
Where the coating is applied off-site, the durability of FX6002 means there is minimal touch-up needed where chains or other equipment have been used in moving and transporting the steelwork, and transport can be made within hours compared to days using other peer products. FX6002 has VOC levels as low as many of today’s water-based intumescent products, another advantage when applied off-site.
The three-component pack of FX6002 is designed for application using a 1:1 ratio plural-component pump. Due to the short working time and low viscosity of the product, application by roller is not recommended. While application by brush for small areas is possible, the applied thickness will be significantly lower than by spray, making multiple coats necessary. In many scenarios, FX6002 may be specified with or without both primer and top coat depending on the project and applicator’s requirements.
The faster, more efficient shop throughput achieved using this technology is one of the most significant benefits for contractors across the board, including steel fabricators working on whole projects or individual contractors applying coatings as part of a project.
Enhanced Steel Structure Stability
Rigorously fire tested under the requirements of European fire testing standard EN13381-8 and 9, and British standard BS 476-20 and 21 for structural steelwork and cellular beams, the Sherwin-Williams technology delivers enhanced stability for steel structures in the event of a fire. The fire protection performance of the patented FIRETEX FX6000 and FX6002 technologies is also independently certified under the Certifire scheme, and in durability testing under EN16623 they meet the requirements for Type X, internal, semi-exposed and exposed locations.
When coupled with the expertise of independently accredited Fire Design Estimator (FDE) software by Sherwin-Williams, FX6002 can be fully integrated into a project’s design model and Building Information Modelling (BIM) operations. Sherwin-Williams has also developed a working partnership with Trimble, one of the world’s leading suppliers and providers of technology for the steel and concrete industries and the built environment.
The company recognized the need for a technology that would allow an accurate and risk-free design process to allow the dry film thicknesses (DFTs) of its intumescent coatings to be seamlessly incorporated into the project’s 3D model.
With Trimble, Sherwin-Williams has developed a secure plug-in linked to its own software capable of handling every complexity imaginable, giving the added benefit of color filtering to allow 3D analysis of the coating properties. This enables accurate calculations for complex projects as modern building design becomes ever more complex.
Projects benefitting from the FIRETEX range of fire protection coatings include landmark construction and engineering developments such as London’s The Shard, the Leadenhall Building and Azerbaijan’s Flame Towers.
Designed for use across multiple steelwork, construction and maintenance sectors, these technologies are an ideal solution for intumescent passive fire protection of complex modern steel structures worldwide including offices, retail, residential, warehousing, airports and healthcare developments.
For more information on the diverse offering of FIRETEX FX6002 technology, see the Sherwin-Williams website.
By Rick Perkins, Global Technical Manager - FIRE, Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings