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New guide on intumescent coatings

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Design and contractual guidance is being provided by an updated model specification for off site applied intumescent coatings, which will be launched this month by the Steel Construction Institute. The new guide — Structural Fire Design: Off-site Applied Thin Film Intumescent Coatings — is a new edition of SCI P160 which was introduced in 1996 and which is thought to have been overtaken by the rapid success of off-site applied intumescent coatings since then.

The off-site intumescent coating application industry is expected to fire-protect over 70,000 tonnes of structural steelwork this year, a success story which has taken many by surprise. The new guidance has been designed to more accurately reflect current standards, procedures and expectations of the structural steelwork industry. John Dowling, Chairman of the P160 Development Committee, said: “The first edition provided a new industry standard for the use of off-site applied intumescent coatings, and by presenting a model specification it was hoped that greater uniformity could be achieved in contract specifications.

“We said at the time that we would update the guidance in line with industry experiences and this revision relies heavily on the input of people from across the sector.”

The guide is in two parts. The first part, Design Guidance, concerns handling, storing and transporting coated steelwork and has been fully updated to reflect the experience of the past nine years. The sections on fire protection of beams with web openings, concrete filled hollow sections, connections, composite beams and bracing, reflect the latest thinking. Information has now been included on the protection of partially exposed members.

The second part of the new guide provides Model Specification Clauses for use in the preparation of contract documentation relating to off-site applied thin film coatings. The standard clauses can be modified or omitted as required by the user but most should be capable of use without the need for modification.

The guide will be available to download as a Word document from from 21 April 2005.

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