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What aspects do I have to consider for the fire-protection of wooden structures?

Wood is a material that, when used in construction for various purposes, such as structural, decorative or for furnishings, has always posed the problem of its combustibility, meaning the capacity of the material to catch fire and to burn to the point of total combustion

Why protect wood?

By its very nature, wood is a highly combustible material, being an organic product of vegetable origin consisting mainly of cellulose and lignin, both with a high carbon content that, together with hydrogen, is one of the essential components of the combustion process.
When referring to wood subjected to the action of fire, two aspects have to be taken into consideration: its intrinsic heat-resisting capacity and its ability to propagate fire.
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How to protect wood?

Protective coatings for wood are normally divided into fire-retardant or intumescent paints (reactive coatings), spray plasters and plasterboard panels. The choice of protective system to apply in the various situations, takes many different factors into account, for example aesthetic and architectural needs, economic factors, environmental conditions, and the fire-resistance or reaction rating prescribed.
In all situations, other than when the wood is not in view, fire-retardant/intumescent varnishes are the only solution for preserving the natural beauty of the wood. These ...
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What is the regulatory framework?

The contribution made by a protective coating applied to wood, both in terms of fire reaction and resistance, can only be determined by experimental testing by accredited laboratories.
Amotherm brand reactive varnishes undergo the rigorous testing prescribed by EU regulations to provide an unequivocal classification of their performance and effectiveness
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What are compliance checks for?

To guarantee an intumescent coating’s fire-protection performance the application instructions must be scrupulously followed. In particular, it is necessary to refer to the product’s conditions of use and the instructions for applying it, carrying out the compliance checks before, during and after the intumescent system is applied. These checks are as follows.
  • Check the product 
  • Check the surface
  • Check the application conditions and methods
  • Check the properties of the intumescent system used
The thickness of the coat of intumescent paint applied is an essential factor in ensuring the correct fire-protection performance of the construction element treated and therefore an adequate criterion must be used to check this system properly.

What is meant by duration and durability and what is maintenance for?

The durability of a passive fire-protection system is defined as “The expected life of a protective paint system to the first major maintenance painting”.
Because the duration in service, or durability, of a protected surface is generally longer than the durability of the protective system used, a maintenance schedule must be prepared, in compliance with current technical standards, that makes it possible to use the structure for its nominal lifetime. The schedule must provide for routine maintenance, to be done at regular intervals, as well as special maintenance to be carried out whenever conditions lead to damage or degradation requiring partial or total replacement of the reactive paint. With proper maintenance the durability of the protective treatment will definitely be prolonged for the entire nominal lifetime of the protected structure. For information about proper maintenance, see the manufacturer’s manual.