Performance of Intumescent Fire Protection Coatings in Non-Standard Heating Scenarios

Background Theory: Heating Scenarios

Intumescent coatings are normally tested in full scale furnaces, under the standard temperature-time curve (ISO 834) or the American ASTM E119, which are used to test the fire resistance of materials.The standard furnace test is intended to provide a simulated fire exposure which allows Intumescent coatings to be tested and classified against a universal criterion. The ‘standard’ fire test is considered to be a fully developed compartment fire as defined in BS 476 : Fire tests on building materials and structures.

Limited information is available about how Intumescent coatings perform subjected to a non-standard fire exposure, outside of the ISO 834, with the exception of extreme thermal loading curves, hydrocarbon, jet fire, RWS, RBS, which are normally used in more hazardous environments than the conventional office building fire (Bailey, 2009). 

Recently the performance of Intumescent coatings have been correlated on the bench scale cone calorimeter, due the extensive cost and efforts involved in full scale furnace testing (Han,2010). The cone calorimeter imposes a controlled external heat flux in kW/m2 to a coated sample, in accordance to BS 476 and ISO 5660, to replicate a range of fire scenarios, such as ISO 834. Standard practice imposes a constant heat flux, coupled with plate thermocouples to detect the temperature of the steel plate coated with intumescent paint (Mesquita, 2009). 

In order to establish non-standard fire scenarios, variation of the radiant heat flux is required and the response of the material analysed. Four fire scenarios will be simulated:


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