Hyderabad firm develops fire-resistant paint

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on October 08, 2019

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When applied, Firolac reduces calorific value of the combustible materials

At a time, when there is a growing concern around fire incidents in residential, commercial and industrial establishments causing loss of property and human life, a Hyderabad-based company has innovated a paint, which virtually never catches fire.

The paint — named as Firolac — is different from many other paints, as it can withstand a temperature of up to 1000 degrees Celsius for about two hours, making it nearly unlikely to catch a fire.

“In many residential and commercial establishments, the interiors, which are made of wood and other combustible materials, are quick to catch fire. By applying this coat, we are reducing the calorific value of the combustible material, thereby reducing the chances of these materials catching fire and by reducing the propagation. It saves the asset as well as human life,” Gurudath Patalay, Strategic Consultant and Head of Marketing for Esskay Laboratories told BusinessLine.

Esskay owns the Firolac brand, and has started manufacturing it on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Recently, Esskay conducted fire demos in Ahmedabad and Delhi to demonstrate the efficiency of the paint against the fire.

The paint has received a global patent, as there are no other similar coatings that can withstand the heat of up to 1000 degrees for a duration of two hours, available.

“Based on the end-user requirements, the coat is applied with 2 mm to 4 mm thickness. The National Building Code recommends fire ratings for properties with specific usage. We see a potential market for this paint in the segments of schools, hospitals, banks, corporate offices and refineries,” said Patalay.

Firolac paint is about 30 per cent expensive than the conventional paints. “The existing paint products available in the market mostly fail to withstand the heat temperature beyond 500 degrees Celsius,” he claimed.

Moreover, the paint also comes with lower Volatile Organic Compound (VOC). “All the other products available in the market have high VOC, which causes toxic smoke. This coat doesn’t emit smoke beyond the permissible limit of VOC emissions. Hence, we are environmentally-friendly as well,” said Patalay.

One of the innovators, Dr Kishor Pothula, scientist at Esskay Laboratories, said that it took about 10 years to innovate this product. “When there is a fire, it starts with 300 degrees, and it reaches to 800 degrees within 30 minutes. At such high temperature, all other coatings fail, and they exhume toxic gas too. Our challenge was to create such an additive for the pain, that it can withstand the fire at higher temperature and for longer duration.”

Pothula informed that it was a challenging task to make a new additive formula, which can be mixed with the paint without disturbing the original properties of the paint. “The shelf-life of packed container is 12-months, while after application, the shelf-life of Firolac for about 7-8 years,” he said.

Published on October 08, 2019

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