New Cellulosic Fireproofing Coating to Protect Steel from Corrosion

Photo courtesy of Sherwin-Williams.

The new FIRETEX FX9502 cellulosic fireproofing coating from Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine (Cleveland, Ohio, USA) offers applicators an array of efficiencies when applying long-term corrosion and fire protection to structural steel for buildings.

Applicators using the 100-percent solids epoxy intumescent coating can save hours, labor, and costs through a combination of low application thicknesses, reduced coats, and exceptionally fast drying times. The solution, which offers up to three hours of protection to structural steel in cellulosic fires, requires a lower dry film thickness (DFT) and is easier to apply than many epoxy fireproofing coatings, according to the manufacturer.

Application Efficiencies

The coating is also designed to deliver better protection from corrosion, damage, and wear compared to alternative acrylic intumescent coatings. In addition, the smooth coating offers an architecturally pleasing finish compared to bulky cementitious spray applied fire-resistant materials (SFRMs), enabling the use of exposed steel throughout buildings, the company explains.

“Application efficiencies for fireproofing materials are critical to keeping building projects on schedule. Any delays related to the availability of coated structural steel can push timelines back and create construction bottlenecks,” says Max Tritremmel, market segment director for the Americas fire protection business at Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine. “With faster applications and handling times, FIRETEX FX9502 gives applicators, general contractors, and building owners the ability to keep construction projects moving without delay.”

FIRETEX FX9502 offers some of the lowest competitive thicknesses in the ASTM E119 designs for fire ratings of up to three hours, along with a reduced number of coats compared to acrylic intumescents. These benefits, plus the product’s mesh-free application, all contribute to time, labor, and cost savings. FIRETEX FX9502 can be applied either onsite or offsite, providing flexibility for project managers and project scheduling.

Additional Benefits

With many fire ratings able to be achieved in as little as two coats when using FIRETEX FX9502, steel can be fire protected in just one working day, according to the manufacturer. In addition, the coating’s typical overnight dry-to-handle times enable fully fire protected steel to be quickly transported from the paint shop or on-site application area to the construction site. These efficiencies deliver benefits to applicators, who rely on fast turnrounds and throughput.

Further enabling efficiencies for applicators, FIRETEX FX9502 has excellent sag resistance and can be applied at a high film build with minimal finishing requirements, the company explains. For added flexibility, it can also be applied via trowel, single-leg airless, or plural-component methods.

The ASTM E119-certified coating meets  UL2431 durability requirements for cyclic weathering, impact, vibration, salt spray resistance, and other key environmental factors. The coating can extend the life of assets in a range of environments from conditioned internal spaces to exterior heavy industrial applications without requiring a topcoat. With enhanced durability, it can better withstand the rigors of high contact spaces where people, objects and equipment may impact coated columns.

For building owners and architects, the epoxy formulation of FIRETEX FX9502 presents versatile design possibilities to showcase structural steel in both interior and exterior environments. The material allows architects to create complex building designs with exposed steel, compared to traditional designs that hide steel coated in unattractive cementitious fireproofing materials behind drywall and expensive decorative cladding. The exposed, coated steel can be topcoated with a wide variety of protective coatings to further enhance its decorative appearance.

Potential End Uses

FIRETEX FX9502 can be specified for a wide array of public buildings and structures, including hotels, convention centers, atriums, bridges, airports, transportation terminals, schools, and gymnasiums. Its durability also makes it ideal for use in parking garages, warehouses, and heavy-duty manufacturing facilities, according to the manufacturer.

For additional information, the Sherwin-Williams Fire Engineering and Estimation Team (FEET) is available to offer technical and engineering support, including technical advice, training, recommendations, customized coating thickness calculations, and fire protection and engineering designs.

Source: Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine,