Structural steel is immensely popular for building massive structures like skyscrapers and bridges, and there is no surprise for why. Structural steel is immensely strong while also being recyclable.
But did you know that it is highly resistant to fire as well? There are multiple fireproofing methods for structural steel that steel manufacturers use. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks, and each is done in a different way.
Effective Fireproofing Methods for Structural Steel
Fireproofing your building's structural steel is required by building codes and regulations. There are multiple approaches you have at your disposal for fireproofing your structural steel, and determining which fits your needs best is important. Below is a list about the four most popular fireproofing methods for structural steel and the benefits that each method brings to the table.
1. Intumescent Coating
One of the most popular fireproofing methods is using an intumescent coating. These coatings provide structural steel members with a fireproof coating that helps them stand up to the heat produced by a fire.
These coatings expand as much as 100 times in thickness and create a buffer between the steel and the fire. They work by expanding once they’re exposed to extreme heat.
Intumescent coatings are common for use on steel that is exposed to the public. It is also one of the most cost-effective fireproofing methods.
2. Flexible Blanket Systems
Flexible blankets are different from intumescent coatings because they’re designed for specific applications and needs. The method of using flexible blanket systems is a practical option but there aren’t many manufacturers that use it.
If you’re worried about your structural steel meeting code, flexible blanket systems have you covered. It is a reliable buffer between the steel members and the heat produced by a fire without creating dangerous toxins.
3. Rigid Board Fireproofing
Rigid board fireproofing is great because it is available in different thicknesses. Another great aspect of rigid board fireproofing is that it is easy to install and can be installed during the installation process of steel beams and boards.
Steel boards that are rigid board fireproofed are resistant to moisture. They are also great for fireproofing, thermal insulation, and even acoustic control. It offers the additional benefit of preventing attacks by termites and other types of pests.
Concrete isn’t quite as popular for fireproofing as it used to be, but it is still in use to encapsulate large sections of steel. While this method is effective, it takes up a lot more space than other fireproofing methods.
The other downside to using concrete fireproofing is that it isn’t quite as aesthetically pleasing as other fireproofing methods. It is most often used in places where steel fireproofing is needed but that don’t see high volumes of people.
Get Your Structural Steel Fireproofed Today
LSS Life Safety Services® performs a wide range of life safety services such as fireproofing and fire rating materials for both commercial and industrial applications. There are multiple techniques at your disposal for fireproofing. We are code experts, and will aid in choosing the correct and most cost-effective method of fire rating a structure or component.
Contact Us Here or call 888-675-4519 for more information about how we can help you fireproof the structural steel in your building.