Permax Protection

Intumescent Information

Nullifire is a brand recognized as a global leader in passive fire protection systems, and has become synonymous with some of the best structural steel fire protection coatings technologies available today. Formulated and manufactured to the highest standards, the Nullifire thin film intumescent coatings – specifically the SC900 series - offer application and performance advantages which have made it the first choice of builders, engineers, architects and specifiers in many countries world wide.

A history of "Fireproofing" and "Fireproof paint"

Fires are generally classified as either Cellulosic or Hydrocarbon fires. The essential difference between them relates to how quickly each reaches its maximum temperature range and the combustible fuel source feeding the fire.

Cellulosic fires are those that are fuelled by materials such as timber, furniture, paper, plastics and other common items as found in buildings such as offices, hospitals, shopping centres and residential buildings.

In such a fire, temperatures quickly reach around 550 degrees Celsius which over the course of the fire will have a dramatic effect on the structural steel within the building. Whilst it will not burn, it will warp and lose its ability to support a load, increasing the likelihood of building collapse.

When buildings were made of wood (hundreds of years ago), this was a major issue. But then, even as they were constructed from concrete, it was realised something needed to change. As building practices improved, attention was given to ways to protect the building from collapsing as quickly during a fire - the concept of "fireproofing" was born. In the early phases, engineers and builders relied on Asbestos bonded into cement as sheets or loose form. Concrete encasement of structural steel was also used to protect steel as long as possible from flames and fire, but it was quickly realised that this had impact on costs, aesthetics and building weight. 

With time and technological improvements came changes to the products used to protect steel and the structures they were built in. Cementitious spray (also called vermiculite) was an early front runner due to its ease of application (almost anyone could apply it) and its resistance to fire. However, it was quickly realised that the bulk of the applied product, the fact it is easily damaged, is not impervious to water and cannot be painted meant it was not an ideal solution. 

This gave rise to the next phase of protection - fireproof paints. Whilst the term fireproof paint is factually incorrect (nothing is fireproof, it is fire resistant) it is a term that still gets widely used due to the descriptive nature of it. The more accurate term is intumescent paint, or intumescent coating. This technology is designed to be applied to structural steel in microns (not centimetres like vermiculite) and has numerous advantages over concrete encasement and cemintitious coatings. 

Combating the effects of fire – with Nullifire

How Strcutural steel fire protection worksIn Australia under the NCC, all buildings with exposed structural steel are required to implement protective measures around the steel. Our commitment to helping the building industry to meet this obligation is second to none. 

From the early days of this new technology, Nullifire has been a pioneer in the field of fireproof paint, which is why we made the choice to partner with them over 10 years ago. Their range of fire retardant materials (from base coats and primers through to top coats) makes them a leader in the fire rating industry, specifically their thin-film intumscent range which includes a Hybrid intumescent. 

The Nullifire range of intumescent coatings are designed to protect structural steel in the case of cellulosic fire (though they do have a range for hydrocarbon fires too). Often called fire retardants, intumescent coatings refer to that class of specially formulated coatings which swell and form a protective "char" as a result of extreme heat exposure.

Nullifire intumescent basecoats are formulated specifically to fire protect structural steel up to a fire rating level of 120 minutes. Given the nature of building construction in Australia, we are proud to sell - and at times apply - the following Nullifire Products. 

To this end, Nullifire have developed a range of intumescent coatings designed to protect structural steel in the case of cellulosic fire. Often called fire retardants, or mistakenly called "fireproof" paints, intumescent coatings refer to that class of specially designed coatings which swell and form a protective "char" as a result of extreme heat exposure. Our key products are

Nullifire have a range of intumescent systems designed specifically to fire protect structural steel up to a fire rating level of 120 minutes.

Other Fire Retardant Products

The Permax team recognises that not all steel can be protected by a thin-film intumescent and that not all structural elements are made from steel. To this end we have obtained exclusive agreements with other manufacturers for a range of products including:

Key projects

Nullifire products have been proudly used as the intumescent of choice on a number of recent constructions including:

5 Martin Place SYDNEY Old Commonwealth Bank Building ‘The Money Box’

Nullifire SC902 “Fast Track’ Hybrid intumescent basecoat was sele...

Brisbane International Airport - Air New Zealand lounge

Brisbane International Airport is mid-way through planned upgrade works. Perm...

Carrara Gardens Golf & Tennis Academy - Gold Coast

Nullifire SC902 was selected for this project for its proven track record of ...

Gold Coast Turf Club

Originally we were requested to fire rate all structural steel on the project...