Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Structure

Source: Reddit

For any construction work safety is the most important factor that has to be taken into consideration. Fireproofing is one of the most critical aspects which guarantee the safety and stability of buildings and their structure, including in the case of fire. Of all the fireproofing systems, cementitious fireproofing is one of the main and most popular types.

The history of cementitious fireproofing can be said to have begun in the mid twentieth century, a time when globalization was on the rise and steel framed high rise buildings were becoming common. Thus, the issue of fire safety emergence was of paramount importance as such monumental constructions started to populate city landscapes. This necessity gave rise to spray-applied fireproofing materials that initially consisted of cement, gypsum, and mineral fibers’ combinations.

Source: Industrial Paint and Protection Magazine

Cementitious fireproofing is one of the categories of passive fire protection systems. It entails the process of placing a layer of cementitious material on structural steel or concrete parts of a building. This layer prevents heat transfer through the steel section and thus helps in preserving the structural endurance of the steel by slowing down the temperature rise and thus its weakening.

In a fire, the temperature can rise to a point where steel can start to lose its shape through what is known as fire structural softening. Normal unprotected steel starts to lose its strength at temperature range of 600 degrees Fahrenheit or at 315 degrees Celsius. Cementitious fireproofing assists in this regard by offering insulation which halts the rate at which steel warms up. This delay is rather important because it enables more people to escape the building and firefighters to tackle the fire, thus preventing the structure from falling down.

Over the years, cementitious fireproofing has never been the same since it was discovered. These formulations have been further developed to increase the fire endurance, bonding, and the life of the final products. Today’s cementitious fireproofing materials are more durable and easy to apply in order to achieve homogeneity of the applied layer and its properties.

Source: Northstar Spray Foam Insulation

Cementitious fireproofing is widely applied in the construction of business structures, factories, and high-rises. Its benefits include:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: This is usually cheaper than the other fireproof strategies such as the intumescent coatings.
  • Ease of Application: It can be sprayed on surfaces hence making it easy and fast to cover a given surface.
  • Durability: Once applied, it offers protection that will last for a long time with little or no need to apply touch up coats.
  • Versatility: These applications can be made on steel beams, columns and concrete structures among others.

Cementitious fireproofing is till today popular in the market but with the enhancement in the technologies there are other alternatives like intumescent coatings available. These coatings swelling when exposed to heat, create a char layer which is an insulator on the substrate. Stylish intumescent coatings are frequently used for their appearance, since they offer a smoother surface than cementitious fireproofing.

Source: GA Fire Proofing

Cementitious fireproofing remains as one of the most common and most reliable methods of protecting structural members of a building against the ravages of fire. It was developed in the middle of the twentieth century and has become an important aspect in construction safety and is still on the rise in the fire protection line. Thus, cementitious fireproofing remains relevant in our ever-growing constructions as we build higher and explore new ways in construction.