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▼ Formulation for Fire Suppressant Coatings
Source: | Author:presafer | Published time: 2016-03-02 | 4981 Views | Share:
The key ingredients of fire suppressant coatings vary depending on the type of coating. In addition to the resin or binder, ablative coatings, or sacrificial coatings designed to reduce the rate of burn, usually contain fire retardant chemicals such as aluminum trihydrate or antimony oxide. Intumescent coatings contain the resin and approximately 15 other ingredients. The three key active components are the promoter or catalyst (typically a phosphate salt such as ammonium polyphosphate), a char former (often pentaerythritol) and a blowing agent (usually a melamine derivative).

Fire retardant coatings contain only a fraction of the amount of some of the ingredients found in fire resistant coatings. “It is difficult to maintain traditional paint characteristics when adding larger quantities of flame retardant chemicals into a formulation,” notes Ganguly. “In particular, if too much retardant, generally a phosphate, is used, blending and spraying equipment can become clogged.” The use of activated carbon particles is being investigated, but this material is a challenge to keep in suspension.

In general, intumescent coatings differ in how the fire retardant chemical is formulated to create char growth. “All of the ingredients are important because they interact with one another to achieve the desired overall performance.

For fire resistant coatings, selecting the appropriate resin for a given formulation and application is critical. The resin is directly related to adhesion ability and therefore to durability. Different resins react at different temperatures, and the right resin must be chosen so that the right char is produced at the right time.”

There are two main types of resins used in these intumescent coatings – vinyl acrylics and epoxies. Waterborne (latex) vinyl acrylic formulations are typically used for interior applications. Because the ingredients have some water solubility, the water resistance and general exterior durability of these formulations is affected. Solvent based vinyl resins and 100% solids epoxies find use in external applications where weathering can occur. Epoxies in particular are finding use in offshore oil platforms and petrochemical facilities where there is a potential for hydrocarbon fires and weathering can be a significant issue.

Formulations of each type of coating may also vary according to the substrate on which they are intended to be used. Changing of formulations for different substrates may or may not be required and is determined by performance, Some coatings are able to work on multiple substrates, while others may require changes.

The challenge today is to create higher performing flame retardant and resistant coatings that behave more and more like traditional paint with regard to appearance and application. There are three characteristics need to be optimized. Fire suppressant coatings must be cost effective and provide the expected level of performance with regard to fire protection and durability, and last, easy to apply.

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