A vital component of any fire safety strategy for buildings, passive fire protection is built into the structure, thereby, safeguarding lives and limiting the financial impact of damage to buildings and their contents. Sika provides comprehensive solutions for fire resistant constructions such as tunnels, commercial and residential buildings, and especially steel structures. Fire resistant coatings for load bearing structures allow secure buildings to be built.
Fire protective coatings for load bearing structures
With Sika Unitherm and Sika Pyroplast fire protective coatings, quality and cost-optimised solutions can be realised depending on the required fire resistance class, the subsequent building codes and the local conditions. Regardless of steel structures, timber construction elements or concrete, our product portfolio offers reliable building protection according to national and international standards and is used in many important buildings and complexes around the world.
Through continuous, market-focused development work, Sika’s fire protective products are classified and made usable in accordance with the latest European requirements, directives and EN standards.
Function and Chemistry of Fire Protective Coatings
Although steel constructions do not burn, very high temperatures can cause them to lose their load-bearing capacity and thus their static stability within a few minutes. The functional principle of fire protective coatings is based on a specific, very complex chemical product composition.
Due to the thermal energy of the fire, the bonding agent begins to soften at the surface and then swells up to form a foam. The originally millimetre-thin coating converts into a centimetre thick, micro-porous insulating foam that insulates the substrate against heat.
Combination of Protection and Aesthetics
Circular or rectangular hollow sections are most frequently chosen for their visual appearance.
Sika fire protective coatings allow the unrestricted protection of such components without impairing their visual appearance. In addition, a broad range of decorative finishes will also enhance the appearance of the structure purposefully as a supplementary design element.
Unlike wooden constructions, steel doesn’t burn. But effective fire protective is nonetheless critical here as well. When exposed to extreme heat levels, steel loses its load-bearing capacity and becomes unstable. This puts buildings at risk of collapsing.
Fire protective coatings from Sika extend the fire resistance rating of steel structural components to up to 150 minutes, compared with just a few minutes when left unprotected. A coating thickness with just a few millimetres is sufficient to achieve this. The function, profile, thickness and material of the steel parts are decisive for the required structure and the application of the fire protective coating.
Wood is a natural building material with a multitude of uses. However, it is flammable and requires effective means of protection especially when used in public buildings.
Sika Pyroplast wood fire protective systems can inhibit or delay inflammation on the surface and the spread of flame. The sustainable fire protective coatings combine highest protection with aesthetic advantages – the coating is so thin it does not conceal the natural beauty of the wood.
Like steel, concrete does not burn and belongs to Class-A building materials. However, the high input of heat resulting from the fire leads to a reduction in the strength and rigidity of the concrete. That causes explosive spalling also for high strength concrete mixtures up to collapse of the entire construction. Fire protection for concrete is used where a fire protection retrofit is necessary in a building due to a change of use or inventory.