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Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we are asked in the field of passive fire protection.
Why must fire-protection be used?
The national and European regulations on building products call for preventive fire protection and describe it as a "basic requirement". The term fire protection includes all those measures that serve to reduce fire damage to a minimum and thus limit its consequences. These measures are divided into active and passive fire protection. Active fire protection classifies all protective measures that require human action or the intervention of a system (see, for example, sprinkler systems, alarm devices, fire extinguishers). The objective of passive fire protection is to limit the effects of the fire for a certain period of time in order to enable people and goods to be evacuated and brought into safety. The ordinance uses the abbreviation "F" for this, accompanied by a number that indicates the required time in minutes.
What is intumescence?
When steel, wooden and concrete surfaces protected with intumescent paint are exposed to temperatures over 200 - 250 C° a layer of extremely compact carbonaceous foam forms whose volume is much greater than the dry thickness of the paint. This blocks heat transmission for a period of time, expressed in minutes, of fire-resistance, thus preventing the temperature rise resulting from the fire from reaching the core of the element in question and causing it to deform and bring about structural collapse. An essential feature of Amonn intumescent paints is the optimum ratio between the thickness of paint applied and the intumescence they produce.
What does the abbreviation REI mean?
The regulations use the abbreviation REI to define fire-resistance, that being the capacity of a building or part of it or a construction element to maintain the following properties for a fixed length of time. R: STABILITY – this is required of structural elements and refers to their ability to maintain their mechanical resistance when exposed to fire. E: INTEGRITY – the ability of an element when exposed to fire on one side to prevent the production of flames, vapours and hot gasses on the side not exposed to fire and to prevent their transfer to that side. I: THERMAL INSULATION – the ability to reduce heat transmission The regulations for passive fire protection can describe one or more of these specifications at once. For example: R 45 – Stability, more commonly known as resistance to fire, is indicated by the letter R followed by the number of minutes it must guarantee to remain effective, in this case 45 minutes. REI 90 – Here the resistance is accompanied by requirements E and I, thus becoming REI, still followed by a number indicating the required duration in minutes, in this case 90. EI 120 – For separating, non-load-bearing elements, for example brickwork in boiler rooms, the requirements are simply integrity and thermal insulation, indicated by the abbreviation EI, again followed by the duration in minutes, in this case 120.
How long does a paint last?

It is common to believe that reactive products (intumescent paints) used to protect structures for fire resistance purposes, have a time limit beyond which the cycle must be redone. This erroneous conception often leads to discard this technical solution, preferring others, such as plasters or fireproof plates. Incidentally, today the only regulatory reference that indicates a maximum time duration of 5 years from the time of application of the cycle is the Ministerial Decree 6/3/92 "Technical and procedural standards for the classification of reaction to fire and approval of fire retardant paints applied on wood materials". ATTENTION, this specification concerns only fire REACTION class 1 paint products (according to Italian classification), not envisaged in the European classification. (n.d.a.) So it has nothing to do with the paint products used in the FIRE RESISTANCE field. It is therefore useful to clarify some aspects: 1. An intumescent cycle does not lose its effectiveness and efficiency over time, the performance remains such unless there are problems related to third party agents, such as water infiltration, shocks or anything else that could cause damage. In these cases it will be necessary to intervene with localized restorations. 2. It is advisable to provide for periodic checks and adequate maintenance plans, similarly to what is foreseen in other areas. In this regard, the supplier of the product makes available to the professional a series of "technical tools" or rather "guidelines" useful for fulfilling this, also providing indications and support during the certification phase. 3. Duration or durability? It is not possible to define a "duration" value in absolute terms, instead a "durability" is indicated, understood as the time between application and the first major maintenance intervention. For intumescent paints, an assumed minimum useful life of 10 years is indicated, provided that the manufacturer's instructions for installation and maintenance are respected. The useful life indications should not be interpreted as a "guarantee", the durability should therefore be understood as a useful indication in drawing up a maintenance program. In conclusion, based on our many years of experience, if the structures treated are placed indoors and have not been subjected to particular mechanical or chemical aggressions and have been subject to the scheduled maintenance, the durability will go well beyond the minimum, coming to equal that of life. usefulness of the structure on which the paint was applied.

What’s the difference between reaction and resistance to fire?
Reaction is one of those preventative safety measures that reduce the risk of fire during the initial ignition/triggering phase. Resistance, in contrast, describes the situation when fire has broken out and there is a need to guarantee that the structures are able to resist its effect for the length of time necessary to evacuate the building and extinguish the fire. For example, if we wish to make a chair fire-retardant, we are dealing with its reaction to fire, because the purpose of the paint or varnish is to prevent the chair from being a combustion-triggering material. If however, the aim is to make load-bearing beams fire-retardant, it is necessary to guarantee the integrity of the beams for sufficient time to call in the fire brigade and to get people to a safe place.