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Materials (Basel). 2015 Aug 11;8(8):5216-5237. doi: 10.3390/ma8085216.

The Effects of Thermophysical Properties and Environmental Conditions on Fire Performance of Intumescent Coatings on Glass Fibre-Reinforced Epoxy Composites.

Author information

1
Institute for Materials Research and Innovation, University of Bolton, Bolton BL3 5AB, UK. b.kandola@bolton.ac.uk.
2
Institute for Materials Research and Innovation, University of Bolton, Bolton BL3 5AB, UK. piyanulu@scg.co.th.
3
Unité Matériaux et Transformations (UMET)-CNRS UMR 8207-Group Reaction and Resistance to Fire (R2Fire), École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Lille, University of Lille, Avenue Mendeleiev, CS 90108, 59652 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France. sophie.duquesne@ensc-lille.fr.
4
Unité Matériaux et Transformations (UMET)-CNRS UMR 8207-Group Reaction and Resistance to Fire (R2Fire), École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Lille, University of Lille, Avenue Mendeleiev, CS 90108, 59652 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France. serge.bourbigot@ensc-lille.fr.

Abstract

Intumescent coatings are commonly used as passive fire protection systems for steel structures. The purpose of this work is to explore whether these can also be used effectively on glass fibre-reinforced epoxy (GRE) composites, considering the flammability of the composites compared to non-flammable steel substrate. The thermal barrier and reaction-to-fire properties of three commercial intumescent coatings on GRE composites have been studied using a cone calorimeter. Their thermophysical properties in terms of heating rate and/or temperature dependent char expansion ratios and thermal conductivities have been measured and correlated. It has been suggested that these two parameters can be used to design coatings to protect composite laminates of defined thicknesses for specified periods of time. The durability of the coatings to water absorption, peeling, impact, and flexural loading were also studied. A strong adhesion between all types of coatings and the substrate was observed. Water soaking had a little effect on the fire performance of epoxy based coatings. All types of 1 mm thick coatings on GRE helped in retaining ~90% of the flexural property after 2 min exposure to 50 kW/m² heat flux whereas the uncoated laminate underwent severe delamination and loss in structural integrity after 1 min.

KEYWORDS:

char expansion; cone calorimetry; durability; intumescent coatings; mechanical properties; thermal conductivity at high temperatures

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