Efficient Protection of Steel Against Fire

Galco has recently become one of the newest approved intumescent paint contractors in Ireland offering Sika’s Unitherm Platinum and Sherwin Williams Firetex FX6002.

Fire is one of the biggest risks that can not only completely destroy a building, but also businesses, public organizations and of course lives. Irish building regulations state that a building should remain structurally intact during a fire, providing a safe escape route for those inside and creating an entry point for fire fighters.

The paint is applied to generate the thickness that complies with the mandatory level of thickness required in the building regulations. Intumescent coating ensures these regulations are met by protecting the static stability of a building for a specific period of time (60 min, 90 min, 120 min) while also helping reduce the spread of the fire.

Our intumescent painting service is carried out by trained and certified operatives. Our production supervisor Jaroslaw Kawinski is a fully certified Level 3 paint inspector and therefore, by choosing Galco as your intumescent paint contractor, you can count on the highest quality when working with Galco.

The intumescent paints used by Galco comply with the most relevant national and international standards (including EN, UL, EAD (ETAG), ASTM, AS, Certifire), in order to confirm that they meet the highest fire resistance requirements and consequently can help save people’s lives!

passive fire protection Ireland

What is passive fire protection?

While active fire protection systems such as sprinklers, can extinguish fires, passive fire protection is designed to prevent the spread of fire and contain it in defined compartments to minimize damage and – even more importantly – to allow people in other compartments time to evacuate safely.

In the event of a fire, the heat and smoke will spread through penetrations and joints in the walls and floors, causing damage, endangering people and potentially also blocking escape routes.

Passive fire protection coatings are reactive, meaning that when the intumescent coating comes into contact with fire or extreme heat the coating starts to expand, producing a protective charcoal layer around the steel, preventing it from collapse.

Intumescent coatings are designed to be able to seal all different types of building joints and penetrations, in order to help keep fire in defined compartments for a certain period of time, thereby allowing people to evacuate safely.

How do intumescent paints work?

Steel doesn‘t burn but under full weight it loses its stability at about 500/550°C.

If the period up until the attainment of the critical temperature of the structural component fails to comply with the fire resistance period required by the Building Regulations, protective measures must be taken

An intumescent is a substance that swells as a result of heat exposure, thus increasing in volume and decreasing in density. Intumescent materials used in fire protection will increase their volume significantly under the influence of heat (typically at 300°C – 500°C).

This physical process is one of the main principles for passive fire protection products: Intumescent sealants are able to close gaps in and around service penetration seals very quickly in the event that a fire occurs.

The purpose of intumescent products is the prevention of the structural collapse of the building, which can occur if load-bearing steel elements reach a critical state.

Benefits of Intumescent Paint

  • Fire-proofing – intumescent paint work as a fire proof, providing essential additional time in case of an emergency.
  • Prolonged life – intumescent paint prolongs the life of structural steel surfaces.
  • Insulation – intumescent paint acts as an insulator, protecting structures from damage and deformation.
  • Aesthetics – intumescent paint provides an aesthetically pleasing wherever it is applied but particularly on structural steel surfaces.
  • Limits the spread of fire by containing it in a single compartment in its area of origin
  • Slows the spread of toxic gas and black smoke, allowing people more time to escape more safely
  • Provides vital escape time for people during fire incidents
  • Protects escape routes, building structure and critical structural members
  • Minimizes costs to rebuild after the fire
  • Protects owners’ built assets

Sika® Unitherm® Platinum

Sika® Unitherm® Platinum is a solvent-free, 100 % solids, 2-pack, modified epoxy based intumescent fire protection coating for internally or externally exposed structural steel, where it provides highest durability and combined corrosion protection (up to ISO 12944, corrosivity category C5) and fire protection (up to R90). It is easily applied with standard airless spray equipment, requires no reinforcement, cures rapidly to a very tough and damage resistant finish, ready for handling and transport at the next day. Solvent-free according to Protective Coatings Directive of German Paint Industry Association (VdL-RL 04).

  • Solvent-free, 100 % solids

  • Low odour and zero flash risk

  • Halogen-free

  • Easy application with single-leg spray equipment

  • Can be applied in 1-coat for up to 4 mm dry film thickness, no additional reinforcement required at any time

  • Application directly on blast cleaned steel surfaces

  • Rapid cure – next day handling and transport

  • Very tough – minimal handling damage and touch-up costs

  • Highly resistant to mechanical impact and damage in service

  • Suitable for small sections and complex steel sections

  • Very good cosmetic appearance

  • Durable for a long service life

  • Expected life cycle > 25 years

  • Meets Type X classification (i.e. exterior conditions), no primer and top coat needed

  • Excellent corrosion protection properties according to ISO 12944, corrosivity class C5 (as coating system)

  • Complies with the quality requirements (level 4) of DGNB


Over the past 50 years, Galco has become a recognized leader offering high quality equipment and systems. We are dedicated to exploring the latest construction technologies to generate cost savings for clients.

+353 [0] 1 424 7000




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