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Fireproofing, PFP, or Passive Fire Protection?

Updated: Jun 2, 2022



Fireproofing or Passive Fire Protection?

PFP is the abbreviation for passive fireproofing or passive fire protection. Fire safety is a critical element of safety for the business world. Having fire protection in place helps suppress the spread of fire, evacuate people, and minimize damage to property.


This article makes you aware of passive fire protection which is often used in industrial buildings or process plants to protect from one of the following fire types:

  1. Cellulosic

  2. Hydrocarbon

  3. Jet


Why Fire Safety?

Nothing is more critical than our family's or workplace's safety. Because the effects of a fire can be devastating, it's natural to want to protect ourselves and our hard-earned assets. It is not only a matter of common sense; it is also required by law for businesses and landlords to implement appropriate fire safety measures in the event of a fire outbreak.


Fireproofing, alternatively referred to as passive fire protection (PFP), is the first line of defense against fire outbreaks. Its purpose is to either prevent a fire outbreak or dramatically slow its spread.


What is fire protection?

Fire protection is a key component of a fire and safety design, as the majority of materials we use are not naturally resistant to the effects of fire and hence require fire protection. An oil refinery or industrial process plant requires a variety of structures, vessels, and equipment to be fireproofed in order to increase their resistance to nearly any type of fire.


While steel is the most frequently covered material in the oil and gas industry, protection can also be applied to other materials such as aluminum, plastics, and the like.


What is fireproofing

Fireproofing is a material or system used or applied to a substrate of an item to make it fireproof. In other words, fireproofing makes something incombustible or resistant to fire, however, fireproofing does not mean that the treated item will never get affected by the fire. What it actually does is maintain structural integrity for a certain period.


Regardless of whether the material or item is protected against the effects of fire, the protective principles are the same, namely to prevent the protected item from rising above a certain temperature in order to maintain structural integrity and provide time for the evacuation of personnel and firefighting measures to be implemented.


To put it another way, when you fireproof an item, you buy time to act and time to extinguish the fire, minimizing harm to the asset and its surroundings.


Fireproofing products

Due to the diversity of fire kinds and requirements, it is vital to make a suitable product selection for fire protection. There is a tendency in the industry toward using certified fireproofing materials or products, which provides assurance that the material to be used for the fire protection has been properly tested and will protect the steel in the case of a fire.


However, correct application, inspection and quality control, and maintenance are the three critical factors that must also be considered in order for a fireproofing system to function well in a fire situation.


The fireproofing products are selected based on the type of fire that the material will deal with, the two popular fireproofing products that are often used to protect from hydrocarbon and jet fire are as follows:

  1. Fendolite based on vermiculite

  2. Intumescent coatings based on Epoxy


Structural fireproofing

Any business should prioritize the safety of those who work and reside near processing plants and equipment. No firm wants to be held liable for human casualties caused by a fire that could have been avoided or minimized with effective fireproofing.


Fireproofing in buildings

Each structure requires a unique method of fire prevention. Tall buildings, commercial structures, airports, bridges, and train stations, among others, typically require protection against cellulosic fire. In this situation, fireproofing strengthens the structure by dividing its walls and floors into manageable risk compartments. The protection is given either by the materials used to construct the building or by the fireproofing material added specifically to the building's walls to increase its fire resistance capacity.


Fireproofing in REFINERIES or Industrial Plant

When the fireproofing used in refineries, petroleum, or petrochemical industries, prevents the fire from spreading due to structural failure or overheating of pressure vessels. The damage that a fire may cause very early on may serve as considerable fuel for the fire.


As a result, the following components of industrial facilities such as chemical or petrochemical plants, nuclear power plants, refineries, LPG/LNG processing facilities, and offshore platforms and vessels are protected from fire:

  • Structural members

  • Vessels, piping, and equipment

  • Fire and blast walls, under decks, and the like

 

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