Person spraying paint

Protecting lift towers against cellulosic fire

Metallipalvelu Hartikainen Oy expanded its expertise with Tikkurila products and services, and delivered R60 fire-resistance classified steelwork for an office.

Metallipalvelu Hartikainen Oy in Finland is a diversified metal company that, in addition to workshop and steelwork services, also designs, manufactures and sells products for industrial and agricultural use. The company has long experience of Tikkurila's products and painting in the company's own paint shop.

In Spring 2021, Hartikainen delivered steelwork for lift towers and steel stairs related to the lift shaft for Alasen Rakennus Oy in Pirkanmaa. The structures demanded fire protection painting that requires special expertise, which the company has previously purchased from an external contractor. The company now decided to implement the fire protection itself. By completing the fire protection painting of the steelwork in-house, the company saves on transport costs and the whole process makes more logistical sense.

'In general, a relatively small proportion of the structures we supply require fire protection painting. Outsourcing small volumes is not very profitable either for us or for the contractor. In addition, the delivery schedule is often tight anyway.' says Jukka Kirjavainen, Project Manager at Metallipalvelu Hartikainen.

Ofiice building

The fire protection only required the purchase of a new paint sprayer and nozzles, the other utensils the company had already. The cost was small in relation to the fact that being ready for fire protection paintings also increases the competitiveness of the company by enabling it to serve its customers in a more diversified way.

The integration of the new area had been in the thoughts for a long time, and the matter had been discussed with a Tikkurila expert. The years of effective cooperation encouraged the choice of Tikkurila's product for fire protection as well.

Now was a good time and a suitable project to start fire protection painting in our own paint shop. Tikkurila's Key Account Manager Paavo Kareinen was involved throughout the project and supervised the work. We got an excellent introduction to the product.
Jukka Kirjavainen, Project Manager at Metallipalvelu Hartikainen

Fire protection painting requires precision and special expertise

The product used for the structures of the office building was intumescent paint Fontefire ST 60-1. It is a water-borne, one-component intumescent paint for steel surfaces. Upon reacting to heat, the paint film expands many times its original thickness and forms an insulating foam layer. This can provide 15 to 90 minutes of fire protection for the structure, giving more time for evacuation and fire prevention and management.

Intumescent coatings differ in composition from normal industrial paints. The paint sprayer has a higher pressure ratio than normal, and larger nozzles are used in the work. Workmanship is needed to get a properly functioning and good-looking surface.


Metal structures

'The different kind of paint affects the practical painting work, but our painter learned the technique quickly. Products have evolved, and the paint used was pleasant to spread,' Jukka Kirjavainen says.

The drying time of the intumescent coating, which is longer than with primers and topcoats, must also be considered when planning the work. Usually, the primer and the intumescent coating can be applied during the same day, but the topcoat only the next day after the intumescent coating has dried. The steelwork was painted with Temacoat GPL-S Primer and Temadur 50 as the topcoat.

The advantage of Fontefire ST 60-1 is its competitive film thickness, which reduces paint consumption and costs, as well as shortens the throughput time.

Metal structures

Fire safety is ensured with supervision and documentation

Paavo Kareinen, Key Account Manager for metal industry paints at Tikkurila, has been cooperating with Metallipalvelu Hartikainen for several years. Tikkurila's experts and technical support work closely with the customer to implement new painting systems and products. In the project, it is important to consider the entire production process and its steps to ensure that the right products are selected, the process is optimised, and the paint equipment and environment are suitable.

It is important for the safety of structures to ensure that the fire-resistance classifications assigned to the structures are met. In fire protection painting, the paint film is generally thicker than in other painting; the thickness of the films usually varies from 300 µm up to 4000 µm.

Compared to regular painting work, the biggest difference in fire protection painting is the more detailed requirements for documentation and supervision. Appropriate painting protocols and documents are drawn up of the completed fire protection painting.
Jukka Kirjavainen, Project Manager at Metallipalvelu Hartikainen

Fontefire ST 60-1 intumescent paint

  • CE marked
  • Approved in accordance with the European Technical Assessment (ETA).
  • Compatible with several primers and topcoats.
  • Suitable as a fire-retardant coating for internal conditions (types Z1, Z2 and Y/ETAG 018-2).

The experienced workers did not have any real challenges in performing the fire protection painting. Fontefire ST 60-1 intumescent paint is easy to apply and leaves a smooth matte finish.  The VOC emissions of the paint are low.

'Learning of the new area of expertise went smoothly in all respects. We will certainly continue to cooperate also in fire protection,' Kareinen sums up.

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