Uses of intumescent paint for timber
An intumescent paint for timber is used to provide passive fire protection to timber structures.
Wood is an excellent building material and constructing the frame of a building out of wood is nothing new. We’ve been doing it for a long time, hundreds of years in fact, but timber is highly flammable and if a fire starts it can get out of control very quickly.
When correctly applied intumescent paint for timber will slow the spread of a fire through a timber framed building allowing vital extra time for the occupants to escape and giving the fire department time to arrive and put the fire out before it is destroyed.
This fire-resistant coating can be used on bare or previously painted wood. In the event of a fire the heat causes it to expand to form a foam (carbonaceous char) which is upto 2 to 3cm thick and insulates the wood, slowing the progress of the fire. The degree of fire protection given (fire rating) will depend on the quantity of paint applied though the thickness of the wood will also need to be taken into account.
Intumescent paints for timber can also be used to upgrade a well constructed timber door to a fire rated fire door.
Intumescent paint for timber in action
This demonstration of intumescent paint for timber uses two miniature wooden houses, one of which has been coated with the paint whilst the other is left untreated. The protected house resists attempts to set it alight whilst the other is quickly engulfed by flames and destroyed.
Intumescent paints for timber can be applied in the normal way with a brush, roller or sprayer but if you’re unsure about taking on this task yourself, it may be a good idea to hire a professional.
Timber that has been pre-treated is also available. Canadian company Pinkwood, for example, supplies joists, lumber and OSB (orientated strand board) which is factory coated with a distinctive pink anti-mould and moisture, intumescent coating.
There are many alternative fire retardant treatments for wood. Some are incorporated into wood composite products during manufacture whilst others are pressure impregnated into timber or wood products, but after manufacture. A third group is applied to products following installation.