For Architects

For fire safety architecture, Permax have a dedicated team focused on providing the fire protection industry with design information and guidance needed to bring architectural concepts to fruition. Whether it is a question about finish or expansion requirements, Permax strive to deliver technical assistance in all aspects of intumescent fire protection to structural steel.

Here is how we can help you throughout the time line of your project when it comes to securing your fire safety architecture:

Preliminary Design:

  • Assist with steel selection to ensure that members can achieve required FRL.
  • Provide samples of architectural finishes which can be achieved to help envisage the final product
  • Develop project specific specifications based on the location, environment and nature of the project with approved primers and top seals

Detailed Design:

  • Review architectural design details of intumescent coated columns and beams within wall and ceilings to ensure compliance is achieved
  • Qualify that the intumescent has adequate room to expand in the design detail and ensure that the fire performance requirement is achieved.

Tender Phase:

  • Steel schedule is developed by the Permax technical team with intumescent DFT loadings across the project
  • One of the Permax approved applicators can provide a tender price based on the product and application cost.

Construction Phase:

  • Choose suitable application process of the product, to be conducted on-site or off-site.
  • The desired level of finish required is confirmed by the architect before application process begins.


Can you provide us with a specification for intumescent coating of structural steel?

Yes. We can provide a full coating specification which can be included in your project documentation.

We have a design where structural steel to be fire rated is located in partition walls. Can this be done?

There are many different configurations of partition walls. Permax can review your specific design and provide guidance specific to your project.

Are you able to advise us in regards to the selection of steel which is suitable to achieve the required FRL?

Yes. We are able to provide information that will optimize the selection of the steel members to achieve the designated FRL. We can liaise with the project engineer to obtain important information on load ratios and steel limiting temperatures that will assist in the accurate determination of the correct steel sizes.

Can you provide verification of compliance to the Australian Standards for your intumescent products?

Yes. Nullifire intumescent basecoats are assessed in accordance with Australian Standards AS1530.4-2014 and AS4100-1998. Relevant documentation can be supplied on request directly to engineers and certifiers.

Can any top coat be applied over Nullifire Intumescent coatings?

No, only approved top coats may be applied over Nullifire SC902 Intumescent. Please contact Permax for list of approved top seals.

Can intumescent coatings be used for external steel?

Only intumescent coatings tested and approved for external (exposed to weather) environments are suitable. Water based intumescent coatings are not suitable for external applications, even if coated with a top seal. They are formulated only for use in fully protected dry, internal locations. The Nullifire SC902 system can be used externally.

Can intumescent coatings be coloured?

No. Most intumescent coatings can have a decorative/protective top coat system applied over them which will provide a choice of colours.

Can intumescent coatings be applied with a roller or brush?

Generally, no. Intumescent coatings are very thick (72% Volume Solids or higher) and are applied using airless spray equipment to achieve an acceptable level of finish. This also allows for accurate measurement of applied film thicknesses. Small areas that are not an architectural level finish may be touched up by brush.

Can intumescent coatings be applied off-site?

Water based intumescent coatings are formulated for application on-site as they are more susceptible to damage from transport/handling. Also, off-site coating facilities would be tied up for a considerable amount of time as the water based intumescent coatings, depending on the film thickness required, may need to be sprayed in multiple applications over a number of days and would need extended drying in good weather conditions to cure correctly.

Most solvent based intumescent coatings can only be applied off-site due to their high VOC levels.

Nullifire SC902’hybrid’ intumescent coating is formulated for application both off-site and on-site, it is a ‘fast track’ rapid curing, high build single coat application, Low VOC system.

We are using small diameter structural steel in our design. Can we achieve a 2 hr FRL?

This will depend to a great degree on what load the steel is supporting. Our technical team can provide advice as to how to address this issue.

What Fire Resistance Level (FRL) can Nullifre SC902 achieve?

Nullifire SC902 can achieve an FRL of up to 120 minutes. This will depend on the mass of the steel member to be coated and the design load the member is supporting.

Can we achieve 120/120/120 by using Nullifre product?

The three numbers represent the FRL structural adequacy, integrity and insulation. Generally, intumescent paint for structural steel can only achieve the fire protection for the structural adequacy. An intumescent coated steel member could not prevent the smoke movement and temperature rise of an area. Therefore, Nullifire intumescent paint can only achieve 120/-/- (or 90/-/- & 60/-/-) for structural steel.


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You are about to download a file from the Permax site. Please note All technical advisory notes generated by Permax are based on research papers, indicative fire tests and any other existing evidence. These documents should not be used as an official evidence as design engineers should review the information and determine the reliability of the documents.

Permax constantly update the documentations based on the new fire testing outcomes and change of standards and regulations. To ensure the documents you read are up-to-date, please contact the Permax technical team.