NEXT GENERATION FIRE PROTECTION NOW BEING WIDELY USED IN IRELAND

Sika offers highly effective fire protection systems to satisfy increasing safety requirements. They give people more time to exit a building in the event of a fire. At the same time, they minimalize the damage and reduce refurbishment costs.

Urbanization, sustainability, prosperity and demographic development pose increasingly high demands in terms of construction all over the world. The challenges are steadily growing on all segments particularly on the field of fire protection. Legislations impose products with stricter exposure limits for solvents and other harmful substances. Investors are relying on LEED, BREEAM and other environmental standards to raise the residents’ quality of life and the value of a building. The building activity is governed by civil law regulations drawn up by associations, organizations, and insurance companies. Lawmakers also tend to tighten requirements in the aftermath of major fires.

With its innovative product developments, Sika has secured a leadership role in meeting these specifications. Its solutions frequently become established as new standards in the building industry. The Sika product portfolio also includes highly effective fire protection systems to satisfy the increasing safety requirements. Our latest developed intumescents have taken the fire protection solution up to the next level.

More than 50 years the structural steel components are effectively protected by 1 pack intumescent coatings, whether solvent or water borne, to preserve the stability of the building in the event of fire. When exposed to heat, those intumescent coatings form a centimeter-thick layer of foam. This foam works like a barrier and do not allow that the heat will be transferred to the steel.

CONVENTIONAL SOLUTIONS- 1 PACK INTUMESCENTS
ON-SITE APPLICATION
Despite their benefits in terms of low protection layer, easy application and unlimited application time at apparently low cost, researchers have found that factors like application in several coats, extended through-drying, low mechanical resistance or unfavorable environmental conditions on site may considerably restrict the use of 1 pack intumescents. As a result they can’t assist with the other construction activities, slowing down the entire progress of project.

OFF-SITE APPLICATION
The in-shop application of intumescent coatings has undergone many developments over the past years with the majority of issues regarding quality and cost effectiveness being answered along the way. Although there are enough fast drying 1 pack products available on the market, the through-drying, the risk of damage during transport and during erection on site still remains an issue. As the touch up works required on site after erection are costly, the saved in-shop application time become almost insignificant.

NEW TECHNOLOGIES- 2 PACK INTUMESCENTS
2 pack intumescents are fast-curing products based on different chemistry like epoxy (EP), modified silicon polymers (MS), or polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). These products are produced by a few reputable manufacturers and are designed for in-shop application under controlled climatic conditions, mostly with an adapted plural application equipment. They provide a fire resistance up to 2 hours and also a certain level of corrosion protection, depending on their chemistry.

SIKA’S INNOVATIVE 2 PACK PLATINUM TECHNOLOGY TO PROTECT STEEL STRUCTURES FROM CORROSION AND FIRE
Sika Unitherm Platinum is an environmentally conscious product based on a special total solid epoxy, designed for a sustainable future and customized to suit the widest range of needs for a fast and cost effective application.

The coating is highly damage resistant but flexible and incorporates in addition full anti-corrosion protection to outstand the impact of the most aggressive environmental factors.

CHARACTERISTICS
The surface finish is a close match of the decorative paints products. Sika Unitherm Platinum is a 100% solid therefore the wet film thickness is equal with the dry film thickness.

Comply with LEEDv4 and BREEAM requirements

No penetrant odor

Film thickness up to 4mm in one coat

High mechanical impact, shock and abrasion resistance, therefore no transport damages

Fast curing, transportable and mountable 24h after application

Application without primer and without topcoat for corrosivity classification up to C3*

Application as coating system for corrosivity classification up to C5 *

Application with single- or plural equipment without further modification for maximal effectiveness, depending on project size

Almost no maintenance costs

Cleanable surface by high water jetting

Flexible applicable with single or plural airless equipment depending on project size

* The tests have been conducted at independent research laboratories. The test specimens were subjected to testing conditions according to ISO 12944-6 (test procedure for atmospheric corrosivity categories) and directly after according to EAD 350402-00-1106, previously known as ETAG 018 Part 2 (test procedure to fire protection of building steel elements).

WHEN TIME IS CRITICAL


Identity-defining architecture was the task imposed by a leading sportswear manufacturer for its new corporate headquarters. Construction time and project costs could be significantly lowered thanks to Sika’s Platinum Technology.

12,000 tons of steel seam to float above the ground, supported on the elegant silhouette of 19 columns. The steel construction constitutes the main entrance to the campus as the eye-catching feature of the new 50,000 m2 office building in Herzogenaurach (Germany). 2,000 employees found a new working place in an architectural expression of dynamism.
Knowing that the project had a very tight execution time and the erection of the loadbearing elements was scheduled during hard winter conditions, the choice of the best suitable steel fire protection was simple: Sika Unitherm Platinum-120.

Almost 300 tons of the intumescent have been in-shop applied hundreds of kilometers away and daily transported to the construction site without damages. “We wouldn’t have been able to complete this project in such a short time using any other fire protection coating system”, Lars Moller, Technical Director with coating contractors Schneider + Co GmbH said.

STORAGE, RESISTANCE AND ADDITIONAL CORROSION PROTECTION

MUNICIPAL LIBRARY IN BAD VILBEL

The fire protection at this building could be conserved by “knowing before doing”. To begin of the library construction, the in-shop fire protected steel (without topcoat) was stored outside on the ground at the banks of the river Nidda. It took only a few winter months and the steel structures were contaminated with algae, moss and soil. The entire coating surface was cladded by a green patina.

The heavy infestation was removed with a strong 200 bar water jetting equipment. As Sika Unitherm Platinum is highly resistant to shock, the coating surface remained intact. The final colour was achieved by a Sika polyurethane topcoat.


CONTRIBUTION TO SUSTAINABILITY

EXHIBITION HALL 3A IN NUREMBERG
Sika products help to build a new reality. The Platinum Technology contributed as an expression of green initiatives to the environmental sustainability at the Exhibition Hall 3A in Nuremberg. It was the first German trade fair awarded with the Platin Certificate according to the standards of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).

At Sika we trust that the Platinum Technology provides great opportunities to both designers and architects to improve the environmental, fire protection and long life performance of many future buildings.

For further information contact Sika Ireland at www.sika.ie


This article was written by Dr. Marius Gulyas-Carciu,
Head of Fire Protection-Sika Export.