Spray Applied Fireproofing
Advanced Fireproofing and Insulation Company has been applying sprayed applied fireproofing for over 30 years.
The technical name for Spray Applied Fireproofing is Sprayed Fire-Resistive Material (SFRM). It is used as part of a building’s passive fireproofing strategy. Spray applied fireproofing has thermal and acoustical properties and controls condensation. However, its main use is in insulating steel and metal decking from the high temperatures found during a fire.
Passive fire protection products, such as fireproofing, is used to delay (or even prevent) the failure of steel and concrete structures that are exposed to the high temperatures found during a fire. They do this by thermally insulating the structural members to keep them below the temperatures that cause failure.
SFRM is composed of cement or gypsum and often contains other materials like mineral wool, quartz, perlite, or vermiculite. The gypsum or cement makes up the majority of the solution and is selected because it hardens as it dries. The other materials are used to help lighten the solution or to add air as in insulator.
Applied fireproofing is available as a wet or dry spray formula. The fireproofing is generally delivered as a dry powder in bags, which is then mixed with water in the field.
Modern formulas are asbestos-free and don’t contain free crystalline silica.
The fire resistance of structures to which SFRM are applied are measured and defined by fire endurance tests such as ASTM E119, Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials.
The characteristics of SFRM are determined according to ASTM E736, Standard Test Method for Cohesion/Adhesion of Sprayed Fire-Resistive Materials Applied to Structural Members and ASTM E605, Standard Test Methods for Thickness and Density of Sprayed Fire-Resistive Materials Applied to Structural Members, among other codes.
The International Building Code discusses SFRM in Section 704.13. However, all of IBC Section 704 covers the Fire-Resistance Rating of Structural Members, which can be provided by spray applied fireproofing.
Spray applied fireproofing is primarily used to protect rigid structural elements including columns, beams, metal decking, and some steel joists from the effects of heat generated during a fire.
While not its primary use, SFRM may also provide acoustical treatment and thermal insulation for large areas where the structural members and metal decking are left exposed, but treated with SFRM. This should be thought of as an added benefit since there are other materials specifically made for providing acoustical or thermal insulation.
Advanced Fireproofing has been applying Intumescent fireproofing since 1985.
Intumescent fireproofing, often referred to as intumescent mastic fireproofing, are used in buildings as a passive fire resistance measure. They can be applied to structural members as an aesthetically pleasing fireproofing finish.
The key feature of intumescent fireproofing is that they expand significantly when exposed to high temperatures, such as those found in a fire. Some intumescent products can expand to more than 100-times the original thickness. As the product expands it becomes much less dense, which makes it act as an insulator that keeps the high temperatures away from structural members.
In the United States, both the International Building Codes (IBC) and the Life Safety Code (NFPA 101) provide criteria for proper fire protection. It is critical that architects understand the requirements when determining where protection is needed and when selecting the type of protection to be used.