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Fire Characteristics of Steel Members Coated with Nano-Enhanced Polymers



Kathryn M. Butler, Alexander H. Cheng, Christopher Mullen, Ahmed Al-Ostaz


Applying a polymeric coating on steel members has been demonstrated to be an effective countermeasure for the threat of blast on building and other structures. The development of a blast-resistant coating for steel with good characteristics in a fire would provide buildings with protection against explosions and a fire following the blast, as well as against ordinary building fires. An important characteristic of this coating would be to provide a thermal barrier to heat, such that the temperature of the steel remains for as long as possible below temperatures at which its strength would be weakened. This paper presents a numerical evaluation of melting and burning of nano-enhanced polymeric coatings applied on steel members. Viscosity measurements were performed to obtain needed parameters for the simulations. Polyurea nanocomposite residues showed a minimum in viscosity with temperature, possibly caused by cross-linking and charring. Model results for the polyurea residue having the lowest minimum viscosity value showed that the coating remained attached to the steel sides, although there was some flow that led to the breaking off of a chunk of material from an overhang.
Fire and Materials


blast-resistant coating, melt drip, flammability, thermoset materials, modeling, Particle Finite Element Method


Butler, K. , Cheng, A. , Mullen, C. and Al-Ostaz, A. (2014), Fire Characteristics of Steel Members Coated with Nano-Enhanced Polymers, Fire and Materials, [online], (Accessed July 23, 2024)


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Created March 1, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017