With the inauguration of a brand-new €6m, 3000sqm R&D facility just outside Barcelona, Hempel have announced new passive fire protection (PFP) products to lead their challenge in the intumescents market sector.

Aimed at large projects such as shopping malls, airports and stadia, Hempafire Pro 315 is already in application at two infrastructure developments including one large airport extension. The new product is a one-coat application and Hempel claim a 20% better loading performance than anything else on the market.

Speaking at the new facility’s official opening ceremony, Hempel’s Group Vice President and COO Lars Petersson said it brings Hempel’s R&D bases to 15 around the world and represents a major commitment to new technologies. The building has been designed around a streamlined workflow for maximum efficiency and will employ 15 applicators.

PFP Technical Manager Dipak Mistry says Hempafire Pro 315 will give one-hour fire protection on both open & closed sections in one coat against standard cellulosic fires (which rise to a temperature of 900°C) . “It uses acrylic resin technology, with a blowing agent, a catalyst and a carbon source. Application would normally be on a zinc phosphate primer, one layer of intumescent, and an optional topcoat which could be acrylic or polyurethane.

“The product lifetime would be expected to match the underlying steel structure. The ease of application and requirement for 20% less coating material for the same level of protection brings big savings for our customers, both in cost of materials and application time. It is suitable for application either on or off-site.”

The new facility has four large furnaces capable of running up to 7 firing tests per day at temperatures up to 1150C. Both cellulosic and hydrocarbon fires can be emulated, and Hempel expect shortly to announce a new product aimed at the petrochemical production industry. Beams, column section, panels and plates can all be tested. Besides product testing, the furnaces allow for certification tests.