International® Paint introduced Firesthetics™, a revolutionary approach to protecting commercial steel structures without compromising architectural integrity and vision.

International® Paint, an AkzoNobel company and global leader in high-performance protective coatings and fire protection products, introduced Firesthetics™, a revolutionary approach to protecting commercial steel structures without compromising architectural integrity and vision.

A unique fusion of science and art, Firesthetics provides customized fire protection solutions for exposed steel designs using Interchar® intumescent technology. Architectural specifiers have long appreciated Interchar for its superior fire protection and aesthetic versatility. That’s because the intumescent material produces a “charring” effect when exposed to high heat, which creates a protective barrier to the steel beneath. The strength of this barrier is achieved by the formulation’s excellent adhesion to steel surfaces, ultra-strong durability and fast cure rate. Interchar’s inherent durability and mechanical resistance permits it to be fabrication shop applied in as little as two coats, thereby producing a more quality-controlled application, while virtually eliminating the complex, labor-intensive process of applying fireproofing material at the construction site. Together, these performance characteristics provide up to four hours of fire protection, thus preventing steel infrastructures from collapsing prematurely, and allowing building occupants more time to evacuate safely.

Taking Advanced Technology to a Higher Level

Now, Firesthetics architectural fire protection capitalizes on Interchar’s malleability to provide factory-manufactured columns that easily conform to any steel surface shape or finish upon curing, to deliver sharp, dramatic and bold finishes that enhance the fire safety, style and aesthetics of interior and exterior spaces. Ideal for new construction or retrofit projects, the pre-formed molds are filled with the epoxy intumescent material in a factory manufacturing environment, allowed to cure, then removed from the molds. The molded sections are then bonded to the steel – similar to installing ceramic wall tiles – using the same epoxy intumescent material. Upon final cure in the field, the surface is buffed and a topcoat application completes the installation. The process also contributes toward LEEDS credits.

Bolted connections have long been considered the Achilles heel in the fire-resistant design of structural steel buildings – until now. The first-ever IntercharBolt Cap™ provides an easy, no-fuss solution to these critical connection points, while incorporating aesthetically pleasing features to exposed steel. The zero VOC and HAPS-free bolt caps are a patented, reinforced polymeric material held in place with resiliently biased gripping clips. The fire-resistant caps easily snap onto the steel bolts and remain mechanically locked in place before, during and after a fire, providing three hours of fire protection for interior exposed steel. Final color options are available with factory RAL color matching, or application of decorative topcoat in the field.

Continuing its dedication to preserving the environment, International Paint now provides a sustainable approach to commercial fire protection with Interchar1120. The low VOC, HAPS-free, waterborne thin-film intumescent coating is specially formulated to protect interior exposed structural steel. Combined with field-applied waterborne primers and topcoats, Interchar 1120 provides a complete LEED-compliant package for any commercial project.

“Firesthetics is a technology concept that has finally come of age,” said Bill Dempster, International Paint HVI Market Manager. “As the global demand for better fire protection materials increases, the need for these materials to meet higher architectural aesthetic requirements has also increased. We’re very proud to be setting the new standard for both.”

All Firesthetics architectural solutions have been fully fire-tested at Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and other accredited fire testing facilities. To date, these innovative fire protection options have been applied in concert halls, churches, fashion stores, universities, penthouse residencies, high-end commercial offices and museums across the globe.

For more information about International Paint’s Firesthetics architectural fire protection, visit the website at