Protect Life, High-Value Assets Against Rapid Rise Hydrocarbon Fires with FIRETEX® M90

Intumescent epoxy coatings safeguard against catastrophic loss for up to three hours

CLEVELAND (June 21, 2012) – Sherwin-Williams debuted its FIRETEX® line of Passive Fire Protection (PFP) coatings at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. The solvent-free, fast curing M90 Series of intumescent coatings provides hydrocarbon facilities up to three hours of protection on structural steel, decks and bulkheads, pipe supports, process equipment, valves and pressure vessels in the event of a jet or pool fire. The products help achieve the fire resistance ratings necessary for a sound PFP system, with a lower required film thickness than alternatives.

"The shift of oil and gas exploration, extraction and processing to offshore deep sea locations has numerous implications for those entrusted with protecting life and assets from fire," said Roger Williams, Global Market Director for Fire Protection, Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings. "For refineries, terminals, pipelines and chemical plants onshore, there are similar concerns, because hydrocarbon fires, wherever they occur, can reach excessively high temperatures in a matter of minutes. Our FIRETEX M90 Series is designed not only to directly protect fire responders and occupants, but also to prevent the escalation of fire, blocked escape routes or outright structural collapse."

Depending on the required fire rating for each steel section, intumescent coatings are applied at as much as 30 times the thickness of standard epoxy coatings, swelling to 5-10 times that original thickness in the presence of fire. The resulting carbon-based char reduces the rate of heat transfer, insulating the steel and extending the time for a given section to reach its critical failure temperature. Structural steel under load loses over 20 percent of its strength at 950 F (500 C), and over 50 percent of its strength by 1100 F (600 C), at 2 percent strain. A simple hydrocarbon pool fire rages at that temperature within five minutes; jet fires experience a rapid rise in less than one minute.

PFP coatings must be there to work, Williams said. Protective coatings in hydrocarbon environments must accomplish two things – protection against asset destruction by fire and by corrosion under fire protection (CUF), to ensure the integrity of the structural steel’s original load bearing capacity. FIRETEX coatings are inherently corrosion resistant, formulated to last the design life of the asset on which they are applied, even in the harshest maritime environments.

The products meet all global standards for weatherability and durability, including NORSOK M- 501, revision 5, which governs surface preparation and protective coatings, and UL 1709, which determines a coated steel section’s durability in the presence of the rapid rise of fire.

The M90 series can be combined with FIRETEX M89/02, an epoxy insulating barrier for hot operating pipes and vessels and that resists both elevated processing temperatures and rapid cooling, such as from cryogenic spills on LNG structures and support vessels.The FIRETEX line, previously a brand of UK-based Leighs Paints, protects more than 400 offshore platforms, refineries, terminals, pipelines and chemical plants worldwide.


Sherwin-Williams is a global protective and marine coatings company that delivers smarter asset protection and unmatched service and specification support to its customers from 4,000 locations worldwide. From alkyds to zincs, the company offers a complete line of time-tested, high performance coatings and systems to combat corrosion, supported by the largest group of NACE-certified coatings inspectors in the industry. With more than 140 years in business and a culture of product innovation, Sherwin-Williams today is the single source of supply for coatings solutions made to your specifications and delivered on time, every time.

Editor contact, Debbie Pirone, 216-292-4700,

Customer contact: 800-524-5979