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 Intumescent Fire Retardant Coating: How It Works.

Intumescent Fire Retardant Coating: How It Works.

Fire is a danger to everything around us. It could lead to the loss of lives, valuable assets and properties. Fires are unpredictable and can spread very easily in alarming times. However, with the help of intumescent fire retardant coating, you can minimise the possibility of a fire spreading to your property.


Fire retardant and intumescent coatings have always been used in the construction industry since its inception. The first recorded use of such coatings dates back to the year 500 B.C when ancient Greek craftsmen used clay-based cements laced with silica and gypsum.

However, the use of modern fire retardant and intumescent coatings can be traced back to 1909 when French chemist Edmond Becquerel started conducting experiments on solidifying liquids into a rubber-like substance for longer lasting roofs. He referred to these products as “intumescent” coatings due to their ability to swell (or “intumesce”) when exposed to heat. Despite various advancements, their uses remain the same until this day.

What Is An Intumescent Fire Retardant Coating?

An intumescent coating is a fire retardant coating that expands when exposed to heat. This expansion acts as an insulating layer between the heat source and whatever it is applied to. The intumescent coatings available today are made from either inorganic or organic binders.

An intumescent coating in UAE is used in many industries such as aerospace, marine, transportation, electrical appliances and construction materials because they can provide protection against fire when exposed to high temperatures.

How Does An Intumescent Fire Retardant Coating Work?

An intumescent fire retardant coating is a type of coating that hardens in response to high temperatures. This means that when exposed to heat, the coating will expand and become more rigid. The result is that it becomes much harder for flames and heat to cause damage or burn through the coating. In some cases, intumescent coatings can even absorb heat from fires and then release it slowly over time, which helps to prevent secondary fires from developing after the initial flames have been put out.

Intumescent paint is made up of two layers: an inner layer that contains flammable particles; and an outer layer that contains intumescents (also called inorganic binders). When exposed to heat or flames, these particles begin to expand — much like popcorn — creating a barrier between the surface being protected and the flame source.

Intumescent coatings use a chemical reaction process called polymerization. The chemical components in these coatings undergo a transformation when they are exposed to heat that causes them to expand significantly in size. Since this expansion occurs over time, it allows for longer-lasting protection against fire damage than other types of coatings do.

How Much Protection Do Intumescent Fire Retardant Coatings Provide?

Intumescent coatings are designed to protect surfaces from fire. They do this by expanding in response to heat, which creates a barrier between the material and the flame. The more intumescent protection a coating provides, the longer it takes for the coating to reach its maximum thickness. This means that it takes longer for the coating to reach its maximum thickness than standard coatings, but this also means that it provides more protection as well.

The amount of intumescent protection that a coating provides depends on a number of factors, including how much heat is applied and how quickly it is applied. These factors are determined by:

  • The type of intumescent coating used – each type has different properties which affect its ability to resist heat and flame.
  • The thickness of the intumescent coating – thicker coats provide greater protection than thinner coats.
  • The surface area covered by the intumescent coating – if only small areas are covered, they may not be able to withstand the effects of fire as well as larger areas would be able to do so.
  • The amount of oxygen present in the room where the coating is located.
Applications of intumescent coatings

Intumescent coatings are primarily used for fire protection in industrial and commercial buildings, where they are applied to reduce damage in the event of a fire. Insulating glass coating in UAE can also be used on objects like furniture or appliances. The coatings work by expanding when exposed to heat from a fire. This expansion fills in any holes and cracks in the material being protected, which helps prevent flames from spreading through those openings.

Intumescent coatings are usually applied to steel or concrete surfaces using an electrostatic spray gun or brushes. They can also be sprayed on foam substrates like styrofoam insulation boards or expanded polystyrene (EPS) panels. In these cases, it is important that there is enough open space between each piece of foam so that when it expands it does not become trapped between two pieces of foam board.

Examples of the applications of intumescent coatings:

  1. To protect wood and wood-based products from fire damage. This can be done by applying the coating to wooden doors, windows, beams and rafters. The coating expands when exposed to heat, which helps prevent the spread of fire in wooden structures.
  2. To protect steel structures such as bridges and buildings from fire damage. The coating expands when exposed to heat and absorbs heat energy, thus protecting steel structures from fires caused by lightning strikes or electrical faults.
What Is The Process For Applying Intumescent Fire Retardant Coatings?

The application process for intumescent fire retardant coatings depends on the size of the surface being coated and the type of material being coated. For example, if you’re coating a small section of wall, you may be able to apply the coating yourself using a paint brush or roller. If you’re coating an entire wall or room, however, it may be more cost-effective to hire an approved contractor who has experience applying these types of coatings. Thermilate has obtained Dubai Civil Defence application approval for fire retardant coating in Dubai, UAE, intumescent coating and insulating glass coating.

The use of intumescent coatings allows surfaces to withstand fire and it can also help with minimising smoke. This also offers a new option for further enhancing the fire resistant properties of walls and other structures without having to resort to the use of conventional products. This is one construction material that has been greatly improved with the use of modern technologies, which should often be considered for safe-guarding against fires.

Contact us today for a FREE roof evaluation and get a detailed roof report from us.  Our waterproofing team will inspect the roof home and provide you and provide you a working solution, including a written contract that spells out each detail for you, without any hidden agendas.