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

Playing with Fire

Fires kill more people, and cause more destruction, annually than floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes combined. Thus, fire protection in structures is a necessity.  In simple terms, an Intumescent coating is a paint-like passive fire protection coating used to protect steel in a fire. The need for, and use of, Intumescent coatings in the construction industry is escalating rapidly.

Within the Intumescent coating industry multiple disciplines converge from thermochemistry to structural engineering. Together they have formulated coatings with apparent guarantees of 1-hour fire safety ratings and upwards. These guarantees have been based on furnace tests performed using standard time-temperature fire curves which were developed nearly 100 years ago in idealistic conditions.

It appears little is known about how to accurately simulate the incident heat flux of real, and standard, fires acting on Intumescent coatings in laboratory test situations. Hence the actual level of protection provided, by Intumescent coatings in real fires (or non-standard heating scenarios), remains ambiguous.

Through collaboration with an industrial partner, it is intended to develop a systematic research programme which will depict any limitations in the level of protection provided by water-based  Intumescent coatings in non-standard heating scenarios (specifically, travelling fires). The programme will consist of both experimental and theoretical research and perhaps a research visit to our industrial partner's testing facilities.

About this website

This website is intended to provide users with information relating to our research. Information is provided on specific elements including background theory, current progress, research plans and intended fire laboratory experiments. References have been provided, in the references section, to sources with more detailed and in-depth information, on various aspects which relate to our research topic. If you have any questions or comments about our research or this site, please contact us.     


This website was created, by Connie Leydon and Patricia Lehane, in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Master of Engineering, in Civil Engineering (Leydon) / Civil & Environmental Engineering (Lehane), at the University of Edinburgh, U.K. ©