Researchers: New Fire-Resistive Coating Developed


Officials say new research out of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, has produced a fire-resistant coating that also provides corrosion protection and requires a less intensive application process than more traditional alternatives.

The team, working in conjunction with national industrial developer JTC, led by Assistant Professor Aravind Dasari, from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor Tan Kang Hai, from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, created FiroShield as a commercially viable alternative to protect reinforced concrete against underground fires.

Fire Protection

With the ability to function aesthetically like normal paint, FiroShield is a three-in-one system that can be applied to bare steel without prior sandblasting. The coating meets the two-hour window that allows for those in a building to evacuate in case there is a fire, and the same functionality has been tested on reinforced concrete and laminated timber.

According to NTU, to achieve the two-hour fire rating, FiroShield is applied in five layers to be both corrosion and fire resistant. The coating also retained much of its efficiency when it underwent weathering testing in the lab, which included moisture and ultraviolet rays. The groups says conventional coating performance dropped by 75 percent when tested under such conditions, but FiroShield’s performance only dropped 2 percent.

“In a fire, our coating forms a compact charred layer that acts as a protective barrier against the heat,” said Professor Dasari, who is also a Principal Investigator at the NTU-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Centre.

“While typical fire coatings will also form a charred layer, those are thick and foam-like, which can fall off easily and leave the steel exposed to the fire. What we aimed at was an innovative coat that works differently from conventional intumescent coatings and can stick to the steel surface for as long as possible under high temperatures, and yet has durability and weather resistance under normal conditions without a need for a top coat of paint.”

Coating Composition

FiroShield’s base material is composed of synthetic resins, which are combined with other common chemicals—one of which is endothermic—to give the coating its fire- and corrosion-resistant properties. The endothermic element absorbs heat, causing a chemical reaction that makes the coating adhere firmly to the surface.

Pigments can also be added to the paint, providing both the appearance of normal paint and increased commercial value.

For the next step in the development process, FiroShield will be sent to the U.K. for certification, which is slated for completion in April 2018. The certification includes a load-bearing fire test that facilities in Singapore do not have the capacity to complete.  

Afterward, the coating will be applied on steel structures within the future JTC Logistics Hub. Other plans include the development of a another coating for the construction and building industry, and the research team working with relevant agencies to make FiroShield available on a wider scale.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Coating Materials; Coatings Technology; Colleges and Universities; Corrosion resistance; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Fire-resistive coatings; Latin America; North America; Research and development; Z-Continents

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