The principal fire retardant coating in the Liquid Plastics range is Firecheck, however, other LPL coatings also exhibit excellent resistance to the spread of flame and achieve Class “0” fire ratings. Of particular note is Silcabond SP, a halogen-free, single pack mineral paint which exhibits very low smoke emission. Details are contained in the “Protective Systems for Walls” section.
Firecheck is a water based coating which forms a tough, flexible, chemical resistant membrane with outstanding fire retardant properties. Suitable for both internal and external applications, it achieves the highest fire safety ratings to international standards including BS.476 Parts 3, 6 and 7. Upon curing, it is completely waterproof and forms an effective defence against aggressive elements such as chlorides, acid gases and atmospheric pollution. It presents an effective vapour barrier and is suitable for use over a wide range of common substrates. Available in a range of decorative colours, Firecheck is UV stable, so it remains highly elastomeric throughout its design life. Firecheck is backed by a successful track record spanning more than thirty years and is relied upon throughout the world by demanding organisations including petrochemical companies, NASA and the Ministry of Defence.
Firecheck Textured is a tough and highly durable, water based copolymer compound which has outstanding resistance to spread of flame. When cured, it is water and weatherproof but allows substrates to breathe out. Firecheck Textured complies with the most exacting fire regulations. It is simple to apply by either spray or brush and cures to form a high build elastomeric skin which resists cracking, blistering and flaking.
The dangers associated with asbestos are now well known and the link between the inhalation of airborne asbestos fibres and diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and certain forms of cancer has been recognised for several years. When asbestos is encountered within a building, there is a clear need to implement safety measures in order to prevent the release of fibres into the air and these can fall into two broad categories.
Removal and in-place management:
Removal is usually the first consideration when asbestos is discovered within a building, and the permanent elimination of such material from the premises clearly has significant advantages if properly undertaken. The subject of much examination by safety organisations such as the British Health and Safety Executive and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, removal is governed by strict legislation which aims to minimise health risks to both contractors and building occupants. However, it is not the only option.
In place management involves leaving the material in situ, monitoring it and, where necessary, encapsulating it within a seamless, protective coating. This involves relatively little disturbance of the material and therefore minimises the threat of fibres being released into the air. Both the H.S.E. and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency note that in place management is often a better course of action when attempting to reduce asbestos exposure. As the E.P.A. states, “an improper removal can create a dangerous situation where none previously existed... (because) by their nature, removals tend to elevate the airborne level of asbestos fibers.”
By consolidating the insulation and protecting it beneath a tough, waterproof coating, the building owner derives a number of benefits: first, the operation is generally less hazardous and less costly than removal; second, it eliminates the need to dispose of the asbestos containing insulation - itself a process subject to strict controls and cost burdens; third, work can be completed far more quickly, reducing disruption, on-site time and all associated costs; and fourth, the excellent insulative properties of the asbestos are largely retained, thereby eliminating the need to purchase or install alternative insulation materials.
Which of these two measures is ultimately chosen depends on various factors. In general, if the asbestos-containing material is in good condition and is unlikely to be disturbed for the foreseeable future, then encapsulation is appropriate. If it is damaged or deteriorating, it must first be consolidated prior to treatment (see “Fibrelock - technical data.”). If the material is very badly degraded or likely to be disturbed - by demolition work or structural alterations, for example - then it must be removed by licensed contractors according to national safety requirements. (In the U.K., these requirements are laid down by the Health and Safety Executive.)
Firecheck and Fibrelock:
Liquid Plastics offers two products for asbestos control work. Firecheck is an elastomeric, fire retardant coating and is ideally suited for the encapsulation of asbestos-containing insulation. Fibrelock has several distinct functions but is used primarily for suppressing fibre-release during removal and for consolidating insulants prior to encapsulation.
Firecheck - (Asbestos Encapsulation)
Firecheck forms a tough, seamless, impact resistant skin which locks in potentially dangerous asbestos fibres. The flexible membrane will tolerate movement without cracking or flaking and protects the underlying material against water penetration, oil, grease and other chemicals. It complies with all international asbestos control legislation and penetrates asbestos-containing insulation to consolidate friable surfaces. Note, however, that degraded substrates may require pre-treatment with Fibrelock in order to maximise consolidation of the fibres.
Firecheck has a proven track record in the field of asbestos control which spans well over a quarter of a century. As early as 1978, it was tested by the Battelle-Columbus Laboratory to determine its suitability for use as an asbestos encapsulant. Of the 158 products tested, only thirteen met all the necessary criteria and, of these, only Firecheck was adjudged to have been completely satisfactory.
Fibrelock is a water based polymer emulsion with exceptional wetting capabilities, and is specially designed as a multi-functional treatment for sprayed asbestos. Designed to suppress fibre release and to keep airborne fibre levels within control limits, it fulfils five specific functions.
- A lock coat which, when dry, aids asbestos removal by binding fibres together.
- A penetrant for the wet stripping of asbestos.
- A post abatement treatment to coat and retain residual fibres escaping removal.
- A primer to consolidate surfaces prior to treatment with Firecheck or other LPL coatings used for encapsulation or post abatement.
- A fibre treatment for asbestos-containing materials which are difficult to reach and which would be impossible to encapsulate. Fibrelock is a category “b” product as defined by the information sheet “H.S.E. Mineral Fibres National Interest Group (MF NIG)” but may be used in place of category “a” (jelly type) products for wet stripping of asbestos.