thin film intumescent coatings

off-site application

The development of an industry to apply thin film intumescent coatings off-site has been a UK success story which is now being exported across the world. The process usually involves application in a large, well ventilated and heated facility remote from the construction site. It has a number of distinct advantages:

  • Quicker construction
  • Improved quality control
  • Reduction in site disruption
  • Cleaner sites
  • Improved site safety
  • Easier servicing installation.

Specifiers should be aware that off-site applied thin film intumescent coatings are used mainly for non-aesthetic end uses.

Aesthetic finishes are possible, and have been achieved using off-site application, but it requires an additional level of care and attention. This is because some damage in transit is inevitable, even though applicators work to minimise it.

It is difficult (but not of course impossible) to repair damage to match the appearance of the rest of the coating but this adds a layer of complexity to the work.

Applying thin film intumescent coatings off-site is a specialised task. The Association for Specialist Fire Protection publishes a guidance document to assist specifiers. This includes a model specification from which clauses can be taken to put in the specifier’s own contract documents.

Off-site application is more expensive than its on-site equivalent in terms of up-front costs but the value of the advantages can make it more cost effective overall. This is widely recognised and market surveys show that this process has a significant market share.