Flame retardant coatings for wood are just one of the developments made in coatings. Over the last forty years, there has been significant developments in coatings for wood and other construction materials. This has led to wood finishes with a number of beneficial and practical properties. These include quick drying, improved stain resistance, solvent free finishes which are not harmful to the environment and flame retardant coatings.

Flame retardant coatings are often characterized as 'fire paints'. This is due to the fact that they work as significant fire protection systems for a number of surfaces, this could be kitchen counters right the way through to large-scale building projects. There are two main categories for flame retardant coatings for wood. These both which meet the stringent safety requirements of UK Building Regulations.

Categories of Flame Retardant Coatings

Class 1 - British Standard (BS) 476 part 7 is a coating that will delay both ignition and the spread of flames. Fire testing has shown this product is best used predominantly for private houses and other domestic buildings. Class 1 has now been replaced with Euroclass C - please see below for further information.

Class 0 - British Standard (BS) 476 part 6 is a protective coating that expands in the heat of a fire. The layer provides the wood with insulation and protection from the heat and also oxygen, so it cannot ignite and in doing so controls the spread of the fire. This layer is also known as an Intumescent paint coating. Class 0 has now been replaced with Euroclass B - please see below for further information.

This is commonly used in public buildings, including schools, retail outlets, commercial property, airports and for exhibition stands. It can also be used to protect high risk areas, such as fire escape routes and chemical storage areas. Fire retardant coatings are usually used in large-scale industrial spaces or public buildings but can also be used on smaller DIY projects. To identify which areas are of highest risk, carry out a risk assessment in your building.

Euro Class rating

Under the Construction Products Regulation, introduced in 2013, there has been a move towards the European harmonisation of the standards for fire retardant treatment of timber and plywood. British Standard (BS) 476 is now superseded by the Euro Class rating as it has a high range of testing.

To achieve a Euroclass B or C specification, the plywood / timber is tested to EN 13823:2002 and EN ISO 11925. Euroclass B has now replaced Class 0 and Euroclass C has now replaced Class 1. Despite this, it is not possible to treat to a National Class and sell as a European Class.

Flame retardant coatings are available in a clear or pigmented finish. They produce a top layer that looks like a varnish. Products are designed to be non-toxic and solvent free. This is certainly of extreme importance when exposed to high levels of heat.

In addition to protecting the wood from fire, flame retardant coatings also provide a hard, durable coating that is suitable for high levels of use. This is beneficial when they are applied to shop fittings, or areas within an airport. If safety is paramount, then it is wise to invest in the services of Finework. As a professional spray finishing company we ensure our flame retardant coatings are applied evenly and in full accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Our fire resistant paint offers excellent fire resistances. This, coupled with our expert application, means you can feel reassured that it will be highly effective should the need ever occur. Please contact us to find out more about our flame retardant coatings.

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