New Fire Protection Coating Technology for Steel Structures

Image courtesy of Hempel

Global coatings manufacturer Hempel (Kongens Lyngby, Denmark) recently released the Hempafire Optima 500 as a new generation coating for fire protection.

According to the company, the product is specifically designed to improve the productivity of passive fire protection (PFP) coating applications. It achieves this by reducing the number of coats required and the process time required to apply them, which saves both time and costs.

The coating helps to maintain the stability of steel structures in large infrastructure buildings such as airports, stadiums, and commercial centers by delivering up to 180 min of protection against cellulosic fires, being optimized for 120 min. It is a one component, waterborne acrylic intumescent coating with less than 1% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and it can be used for both open or closed steel sections. 

The company describes an intumescent coating as a fire protecting coating that insulates the steel substrate from fire for a period of time.

According to the manufacturer, Hempafire Optima 500 is fast drying and highly resistant to sagging. The application — which can be delivered in two days, as part of Hempel's PFP system — outperforms in warm conditions and provides 120 min of fire protection in ISO 12944 C3 interior environments.

It dries to an excellent aesthetic finish, according to the company, which means there is minimum surface reworks needed to achieve the required cosmetic finish when applying a topcoat. The ease of application allows customers to improve their painting processes by reducing the number of coats, minimizing drying times, and maximizing the speed of the application.

“When developing Hempafire Optima 500, we created a coating to enhance efficiency for customers by increasing their productivity and reducing costs,” says Roger Soler, group product manager for Hempel’s cellulosic PFP business. “Thickness buildup of the coating can be achieved in less coats that dry faster. Thus, application costs and time to deliver are reduced. We also wanted a coating that outperforms in warm climates, such as those found in the Middle East and in parts of Europe. We've managed to achieve this without compromising the protection or the aesthetic finish”

“At 40 °C, it comfortably holds up 750 microns dry film thickness (DFT) per coat, and can be overcoated in just three hours,” Soler adds. “For applications where speed is the key, coats of 500 microns DFT can be applied every 75 minutes and recoated with a polyurethane topcoat after 16 hours. This means that the whole system—primer, PFP, and topcoat—can be applied and dry to handle within a 48-hour period. Simply put, the job is completed faster and more efficiently.”

The product is available now in the Middle East and will soon be available in certain countries in Europe.

Source: Hempel Group,