The frame of a steel structured building

Fire Protecting Steel Framed Car Parks with Intumescent Coatings

While there are typical designs for car parks, like most buildings these may vary significantly as can the environmental conditions. At one end of the spectrum are open car parks with no roof cover while at the other end are car parks located under a water tight building.

For fire protection coatings the environmental extremes encountered in car parks, and other open sided buildings, mean that it is often not possible to have a one size fits all solution to the specification. Particularly onerous for intumescent products are open deck car parks and underground car parks where water, road salt and grit can cause conditions that are very severe.

In common with most structures that require a coating specification, steel frame car parks are often defined in terms of a corrosivity environment in accordance with ISO 12944/EN 16623. The challenge is that these are broad based categories which do not really consider the specific requirement of intumescent fire protection coatings. Despite this ISO 12944/EN 16623 could better define the actual environment encountered in different types of car park and similar open structures, if more consideration were given to the parts of the standard that deal with issues such as local micro-environments and special cases.

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By Troy Marshall, Fire Segment Director – The Americas, and Carl Burrell, Global Product Manager – Fire

The practice of where and when to fireproof structural steel for buildings, hotels, stadiums and other multi-story structures has evolved significantly around the globe over the past several decades. Today, steel fabricators, general contractors, asset owners and architectural designers are realising lower costs and enhanced safety, quality and aesthetics. These benefits can be directly tied to a shift from applying passive fire protection (intumescent) coatings in the field to applying them in a controlled shop environment. And stakeholders who have not yet made the shift are missing out on streamlined operations and lower overall costs.

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