Fibre-reinforced epoxy intumescent coatings for strengthening and fire protecting steel beams

Zafiris Triantafyllidis, Luke A. Bisby

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Epoxy intumescents are reactive polymer coatings used for fire protection of steel structural elements, commonly in offshore oil and gas applications, amongst others. These materials react and expand to form an insulating char layer when heated, thus protecting underlying steel from fire. Thick-film fibre-reinforced epoxy intumescents are a special class of such coatings that are extensively used in offshore and industrial facilities to provide protection against hydrocarbon and jet fires; their durability to harsh environmental exposure and mechanical damage are essential in these applications. To enhance the stability and integrity of these coatings continuous fibre reinforcement is typically embedded within the polymer coating. However, designers currently assume that the presence of this fibre reinforcement is only a means of strengthening and maintaining the integrity of expanding fire protective char during fire exposure; the structural contribution of the fibres at ambient temperature is ignored. The coating remains in an unreacted state for the majority of its life until a possible fire, and is essentially a fibre-reinforced polymer composite intumescent coating (FRIC). In reality, this coating has strength and stiffness which may actually enhance the ambient performance of the underlying structure. This paper examines, for the first time, the mechanical performance of an epoxy-based intumescent coating with varying amounts of internal fibre reinforcement through a series of uniaxial tensile tests. Experiments are presented on the flexural behaviour of coated steel I-sections protected with two subtly different intumescent systems. The data demonstrate the ambient temperature mechanical benefits of FRICs applied to structural steelwork, indicating their potential use as a system for combined structural strengthening and fire protection.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International Conference on FRP Composites in Civil Engineering, CICE 2014
EditorsRaafat El-Hacha
Place of PublicationVancouver
PublisherInternational Institute for FRP in Construction (IIFC)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781771363082
ISBN (Print)978-1-77136-308-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event7th International Conference on FRP Composites in Civil Engineering, CICE 2014 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 20 Aug 201422 Aug 2014

Conference

Conference7th International Conference on FRP Composites in Civil Engineering, CICE 2014
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityVancouver
Period20/08/1422/08/14

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