An interdisciplinary team of scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) and Singapore's industrial developer company JTC have developed a coating material called FiroShield, made from a combination of chemical additives (polymer-based synthetic resins and endothermic chemicals) that can protect steel against fire and corrosion. According to a press release by the institution, the material is more cost-effective while being less labor-intensive to apply, and with a minimum application of five coating layers, will give a steel structure an added two-hours worth of protection against collapsing in a fire, noted the same press release.
“In a fire, our coating forms a compact charred layer that acts as a protective barrier against the heat,” said assistant professor of NTU Singapore's school of material science and engineering Aravind Dasari in the release. “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.”
FiroShield offers "assorted colors; pigments can be added to the mixture so it achieves the aesthetic function of normal paint." This allows paint manufacturers to use FiroShield in their products.
Led by Dasari and NTU Singapore's school of civil and environmental engineering professor Tan Kang Hai, the research was launched two years ago, when the team was examining possible solutions for protecting reinforced concrete against fire. FiroShield is set to be sent to the U.K. to acquire an industry certification, including "a load-bearing fire test" to be completed by April of next year. After acquiring the certification, "the new coating will be applied on steel structures within the upcoming JTC Logistics Hub," noted the press release.
Read more about FiroShield here.