Permax Protection
Permax Glossary - Steel Structure

The Permax Glossary of Fire rating Terms

Fire Rating Glossary

The field of Fire rating can be a complex one. There are the requirements of the NCC and the interpretation of what it means, there is the terminology for each technology type and there are abreviations and other confusing terms. To help you understand some of the commonly used terms in fire protection, we have compiled this glossary.

Term Definition

Active Fire Rating

Refers to suppression systems which are designed to restrict the flow of fire and smoke around the building. By default this includes fire doors, sprinkler systems, suppresion systems etc.

Building Code of Australia

According to the HIA:
The National Construction Code (NCC) provides the minimum necessary requirements for safety, health, amenity and sustainability in the design and construction of new buildings (and new building work in existing buildings) throughout Australia.

The Housing Industry Association reproduces the Building Code of Australia (Volumes 1 and 2 of the NCC) under licence from the Australian Building Codes Board.

Volume 1 pertains to Commercial Buildings (Class 2-9 Buildings) and Volume 2 pertains to Residential Buildings (Class 1 & 10 Buildings).

Carbon Fibre Stripping

Carbon Fibre Stripping is the technique of applying carbon fibre strips to concrete slabs in order to increase structural strength. This allows the slab to bear more weight and in some situations can also be used as an alternative to replacing the slab.

Core Filling

Tests have shown that structural steel with hollow sections produce has poor performance when subjected to heat or fire.  Because of this, these sections are often core filled with concrete to achieve the required fire protection ratings.

DFT - Dry Film Thickness

This is a measurement of the thickness of an applied paint (in this instance an intumescent) above the substrate as measured when the paint is dry. 

Fire Board

Composite cement filled plasterboard which is often used to shield structural steel from sight and from flame.


Otherwise known as Fire Resistancee Level is the grading period measured in minutes for three key criteria: structural adequacy, integrity and insulation.


Integrity refers to the ability of a structure to resist the passage of flames and hot gas


The ability of a structural steel member to maintain a temperature below the threshold on the side NOT exposed to the fire. Ie how well can it insulate and keep the temperature down?



The NCC - released by the Australian Building Codes Board - stands for the National Construction Code. It sets out the minimum requirements for safety, health, amenity and sustainability in construction


Nullifire is a global leader in the development and manufacture of passive fire protection products inclusive of the market leading SC902 Hybrid intumescent.

Passive Fire Rating

Unlike Active Fire Rating, Passive fire rating refers to systems which seek to preserve the structural integrity of the building. These measures include Fire rated paints such as intumescents. 

Structural Adequacy

Defined as the ability of a specific structure (in this case structural steel) to maintain its stability and load-bearing capacity.


Vermiculite is a hydrous phyllosilicate mineral which undergoes significant expansion when heated. It is a highly absorbant materials which was popular during the 1980s and 90s as one of the first products used to protect steel from the effects of fire.
Vermiculite is still used today although it has been replaced by newer technologies such as Nullifire. 


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...