High Temperature Coatings: Heat Resistant VS Intumescent

High temperatures are present in many of today’s industrial facilities and processes. With all of the vessels, valves, pipework and other equipment that operate at heightened temperatures, most require a special coating. These specialized coatings are designed to protect against corrosion while withstanding temperatures from 300 degrees to over 760 degrees. Using this type of coating allows for increased efficiency at elevated temperatures, insulates and protects your machinery against high heat loads and reduces thermal fatigue while improving your machinery performance.

There are two main types of high temperature coatings: Heat Resistant or fire protective Intumescent. For tips on how to keep your hot equipment, surfaces, and environments looking and operating great call the experts at Raider Painting.

Heat Resistant Coatings

A specialized, heat resistant coating is perfect for machinery, smoke stacks, pipes and vents. They’re the ideal coating solution for the extreme environments found in most industrial settings. These high temperature coatings will keep their finish, even as the heat levels would cause most other sealants to melt, bubble or drip away. They do not act as a fire protector, more like a heat glove between the source and the structure. This is the main difference between a heat resistant coating and an intumescent.

Intumescent Coatings

Intumescent coatings, however, are used to create fire barriers. They’re used to save lives as well as structures. Under high heat, an intumescent coating will mix with oxygen, increasing in volume and density and acting as an insulated firebreak. Their main purpose is to slow the spread of a workplace fire, making it the coating of choice for offices, underground facilities, parking garages and other workspaces. As it expands, the coating will retain a layer of charring. Since this char doesn’t conduct heat, it prevents the spread of fire while protecting the structure beneath. There are two different types of intumescent paint.

Soft Char:

This is the most common type of intumescent fireproofing found in commercial settings. When exposed to fire, this coating will expand and keep a fire from heating and damaging a steel structure from 30 minutes up until over three-and-a-half hours. This could mean the difference of everyone getting out in time and disaster.

Hard Char:

A hard char solution is found more in industrial settings. This coating is commonly used on the insides of pipes or vents. While a soft char will bubble out and be a malleable fire break, a hard char will form a solid barrier – similar to an epoxy coating. It’s used to create a quick, substantial firewall to prevent fire from spreading through the plant by traveling in pipes or other industrial parts.

Regardless of whether you choose a heat resistant coating or an intumescent, the key to proper protection is proper application. At Raider Painting, we have extensive knowledge on these specialized coatings including how it needs to be primed, or how many coats are needed to achieve the proper fire rating. Trust us to protect your staff and your structure. Request your estimate today.