Ensure The Safety of Your Building
Structural Steel Protection in Bristol & South West
A fire in a steel-framed building could be catastrophic for those inside. The premature collapse of the building is a real possibility, which is why structural steel protection is essential to ensure the safety of your building and the occupants inside. At Fire Immunity, we have worked on multiple steel-structured buildings in Bristol & South West Area over the last 4 years, installing solutions to make them meet fire regulations and be as safe as can be.
Fire Protective Boards, Paints And Sprays
Fire Protective Sprays
Typically consist of strong fibres, filling agents & and a binder (usually cement or plaster), fire protective sprays are a great way to protect steel-structured buildings where having an aesthetically pleasing workplace isn’t a priority. Essentially this service is best suited to warehouses and some office environments however, at Fire Immunity our expert team have perfected their finishings with some architects now vouching for the look suggesting that they might come into fashion over time.
Once we have assessed your steel structure we will begin the fire protection of your steel beams. We will begin by delivering the fire protective spray which is in powder form to the building site. To create a sprayable material we will then add the correct amount of water advised by the manufacturing company and then use specialised spraying equipment to spray the steelwork. Combining an experienced team and the very best equipment we can ensure that we are meeting the required thickness as per regulations.
High temperatures react with water & solvent-based intumescent paints. In its usual form, an intumescent paint is a simple paint coating, however, when exposed to extreme heat/fire it will begin to transform into a fire protective, carbon foam (can grow up to 50x), which provides insulation to the load-bearing structure.
Unlike a fire protective spray, this paint is a great way to fire protect steelwork while keeping an aesthetically pleasing finish. This service could benefit a warehouse store that has steel beam exposure.
Leaving Adequate Clearance
Intumescent coatings must be left with at least 50mm of clearance to allow for the charring zone, which is the required chemical reaction when exposed to fire and heat that provides the insulation layer. When querying whether this is the solution for you and your business, please bare this in mind. Ask our team to see examples of previous projects we have completed to help you make your decision.
Steel Protective Boards
It’s important to understand that any fire protection service has to be regularly scrutinised and inspected so therefore the simpler the service the better quality of fire protection you might have. Steel protective boards consists of many different steps consisting of metal rails, various compounds and fixings such as screws, glue & fillers. For this service, we usually find that is better suited to a building project that has a higher budget and can afford to have extra personnel to check each application as not one person can check every part. However, the actual part of applying this service is, in fact, quick and doesn’t disrupt other Jobsite activities.
Saying that we cannot stress how effective this passive protection service can be in protecting steel beams and other steel structures. A typical fire protection board is usually made of a mineral (calcium silicate or calcium sulfate) reinforced with fibers and fillers. Some boards, in addition to providing fire protection, were also further reinforced for durability, specifically for resistance to humidity and freeze-thaw.
As a result, boards have a strong advantage of being produced in a controlled environment, with strict tolerances for relevant properties, including thickness.
Fire Immunity are one of the leading providers of fire protection compounds in Bristol and the South West
Bristol & Surrounding South West Area
Structural Steel Protection FAQs
The fire resistance of steel is based on three key elements. These elements are essential to mitigating the risk of fire and its effects on a building.
The fire-resistant period is determined by how long it takes for any of the three elements to become compromised.
The three elements that determine the fire resistance of steel are:
- Insulation – This relates to the steel’s ability to withstand external rising temperatures.
- Load-bearing capacity – The load-bearing capacity of steel relates to the weight it can support without losing structural integrity or collapsing.
Integrity – The integrity of steel pertains to its ability to stop the passage of smoke, heat, or flames.
Fire resistance standards for steel are established through two primary legislative documents:
- Approved Document B for fire safety.
- BS 9999 for fire safety in building design, management, and use.
Both of these are regarded as key regulations in fire protection. They are established by the BSI (British Standards Institution).
Approved Document B outlines a set of guidelines for the minimum duration of structural steel’s fire resistance. This is primarily applicable to multi-storey buildings that are not residential.
Office buildings without sprinkler systems that have a height of up to 30 meters are required to have a fire-resistance time of 90 minutes at least. Commercial buildings such as shops that have a height of up to 19 meters must have minimum fire resistance periods of 60 minutes.
Regulation BS 9999 from 2008, adopts a flexible and comprehensive code of practice compared to Approved Document B.
The purpose of this is to accommodate various factors including fire door size and emerging technologies that include mist suppression systems.
BS 9999 does not intend to contradict Approved Document B. Instead, it recognizes that every building possesses unique “risk profiles” based on different factors. These include ventilation, occupancy, and other relevant circumstances.
Although the aforementioned regulations don’t explicitly mention steel in their specifications, they do provide substantial context for managers, contractors, and site teams. This allows them to make informed decisions regarding effective solutions for structural steel fire protection.
Yes, it is essential that steel has fireproof protection to minimise the risk of it melting.
Building regulations are in place to ensure protection is applied. Different applications will suit different projects. There are options that include intumescent Sprays, intumescent paints, and fireboards.
The minimum melting point for structural steel is at around 1130°C for carbon steel. This temperature rises to 1492°C for steel with 0% carbon.
However, the structural integrity of steel will begin to be compromised at 600°F and lose around half of its strength when it reaches 1100°F.