Acoustical Surfaces, Inc. -Fire Retardants Inc. - Fire Retardant coatings and Treatments


Fire Retardants Inc. - Fire Retardant coatings and Treatments INFORMATION SHEET Fire Retardants Inc. has assembled a comprehensive selection of fire retardant products for a wide...

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Acoustical Surfaces, Inc.
123 Columbia Court North Suite 201
Chaska, MN 55318
Tel: (800) 470-6652
Fax: (952) 448-2613

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Fire Retardants Inc. - Fire Retardant coatings and Treatments

Fire Retardants Inc. - Fire Retardant coatings and Treatments


Fire Retardants Inc. has assembled a comprehensive selection of fire retardant products for a wide variety of applications. Through our years of experience in supplying fire retardant paints, varnish COATINGS AND SOLUTIONS FOR FABRIC, PAPER, WOOD, METAL, AND MANY OTHER SURFACES, we have compiled the needed product specifications, proven application techniques and laboratory test reports for the acceptance of these products under the demanding requirements established.

The following is a list (partial) of the products we carry and a brief description of each. Coatings identified as intumescent foam up to ensure the thickness applied when temperature nears combustion, forming a cellular layer of protective insulation. This extremely effective approach retards the spread of flames and smoke developed. The insulating layer greatly reduces the surface burning characteristics of combustible materials and retards the penetration of heat to the material surface.

If you need more detailed information on any of our products, or if a product for your particular application is not listed, please contact us. The Burn Barrier Hot line at 1-800-913-9385.

Burn Barrier™ 6, 166 and 167 – Class "A" interior intumescent varnish system. No. 6 is a crystal clear, hardwood sealer, to be applied by brush or sprayed. No. 167 varnish comes in low, semi or hi-gloss finish. We recommend all applications are to be overcoated resulting in greater stability and durability. This product may be brushed or sprayed. For use on all wood surfaces with the exception of floors and areas subject to water or extra ordinary abuse.

Burn Barrier™ 129 and 130 – Class "B" interior and exterior intumescent varnish system. No. 129 varnish is a clear fire retardant base coat to be used in conjunction with No. 130 varnish overcoat. These products may be brushed or sprayed. No. 130 overcoat is primarily designed as a topcoat for No. 129. It comes in three sheens; low, semi and hi-gloss. Suitable for use on wood paneling, woodwork, doors, door frames and other surfaces which are subjected to constant scruffing, handling or may require frequent washing.

Burn Barrier™ 6-3 is an interior penetrating wood treatment with a Class "A" flame rating. It is a clear colorless impregnation treatment developed for spray application. For use on unfinished or unpainted wood, plywood or paneling.

Burn Barrier™ 10-10 is designed for interior use as an "A" intumescent solvent based fire retardant paint. Formulated for use on wood, fiberboard, metal, drywall or masonry surfaces. Available in velvety white, pastels and tintable with universal colorants. This product may be brushed, rolled or sprayed. 10-10 is a flat intumescent paint, which may be overcoated, with 30-30 for additional glass and durability.

Burn Barrier™ 20-20 interior flat latex intumescent paint has a Class "A" rating. Application may be brush, roller or spray. Available in flat white, pastels. Field tinted with most universal colorants. Formulated for use on metal, wood, fiberboard, drywall, plaster or masonry.

Burn Barrier™ 30-30 is a semi-gloss fire retardant enamel overcoat and is a non-yellowing interior paint. Recommended for use as an overcoat where maximum cleansability, durability and fire retardancy are required.

Burn Barrier™ 111 is an interior intumescent solvent paint with a Class "A" rating. This product may be rolled, brushed or sprayed. It may be used on fiberboard, stucco, wood or masonry. 102 off-white may be color tined with any water soluble dispersible color.

Burn Barrier™ 10 is a clear exterior penetrating wood treatment with a Class "B" rating. This product may be applied by brushing, spraying or dipping. No. 10 is to be used on exterior wood and cedar shakes.

Burn Barrier™ 46081 is a Class "A" intumescent two component thermal insulating semi-glass paint. It is manufactured in accordance with the U.S. military specification Mil-C-46081A. Its use is for navy and marine vessels, aircraft, fuel tanks, offshore drilling rigs, etc. It can be applied by brushing, rolling or spraying.

Burn Barrier™ FPR is a clear Class "A" interior fabric fire retardant. This product can be sprayed or dipped in application. It is for use on natural fabrics; cotton blends, linen, denim, mattress, ticking paper and other cellulose products.

Burn Barrier™ U is an interior Class “A” fabric flame retardant. It is to be used on synthetic fabrics. It can be applied by being sprayed or dipped. U200 is especially formulated for nylon and rayon.

Burn Barrier™ CP is an interior Class “A” flame retardant for synthetic materials. It is especially formulated or polyester, cotton-polyester, acetate and acrylic materials. This product may be used by spraying or dipping.

Burn Barrier™ EFR is an exterior flame retardant for fabric. This product may be applied by brushing, spraying or dipping. It is to be used on welding curtains, canopies, dividers, awnings and tents. Treated materials will also be water repellent.

Burn Barrier™ PF1 is a clear, waterbase fire retardant coating for use on polyester flowers and plants. It is paint-like in appearance and dries to a clear satin finish. Apply product by spraying or dipping.

Burn Barrier™ X is a clear plastic fire retardant coating; transparent, odorless and non-toxic for interior use only. This product can be used on Christmas trees, foliage, raffia, matting, rattan, cardboard, corrugated paper, etc. This product is to be sprayed.

Information provided herein is based on tests believed to be reliable. Inasmuch as Minnesota Fire-Chem has no control over the use or application to which others put this material, we make no guarantee or warranty. Our products are sold on the condition that each user of the material makes their own evaluation to determine the material's suitability for their own particular use.

CAUTION: It is recommended that a test application be completed prior to end use on all products.

NOTE: All porous surfaces should be properly sealed before applying fire retardant paint or varnish.* These are intumescent products.


Few people know about the most recent advances made in making a PAINT a fire fighter. And there are several reasons. It's a complicated subject. "Pain" is usually thought of first simply as "decorations", rarely as part of fire protection. And firefighting paints are a very special kind. They cost more, and they rarely appear in the news. Consequently – many building superintendents, contractors, and even many experts, such as fire marshals and building inspectors have yet to learn how well PAINT can function as a 24-hour fire-fighter.

But not just paint, of course! The key word to look for in the label is INTUMESCENT! That word marks a very special kind of fire-retardant paint.
Just what does it mean?

It means that the paint does a lot more than simply decorate. At the first lick of flame, the properly-coated surface that looks like any standard good quality paint job instantly starts to "intumesce" – to swell, to bulge-up into a solid foam. A film six mils thick (about 2 cigarette papers) will swell to make almost any surface protected by Intumescent paint the coating acts like bread rising or beer foaming – but much faster – and turns into a protective blanket.

The puffed-up foam contains millions of tiny, closed, fire-resistant cells!

And this is what happens. The foam insulates. It shields whatever is underneath to delay contact with the flames. The layer makes a barrier to retard the rapid heating up and ignition of the surface beneath.

Even when fire temperatures reach 1,500-1,700°F, the insulating shields stays on the job or up to an hour. The foam suppresses smoke. The foam retards fire spread. The foam postpones the ignition of properly coated walls, ceilings, and roof or cellar timbers for anywhere from minutes to an hour, depending on fire intensity. And this delay of the fire's prorogation can give precious TIME to reach safety.

But the fire-retarding foam does more than increase escape time. When a sprinkling system or firemen have extinguished the fire, the foam has done a lot to minimize damage. If the fire hasn't been too big or burned too long – the substrate may still be serviceable. In many instances, the dry charred foam can simply be scraped off – and the timber, stairwell or wall repainted. The substrate will still be sound. And the repair of fire damage can be a fraction of the cost – because the "intumescent" shield stayed on the job.

Let's take a look at what happens when a fire breaks out. Then it will be easier to see how intumescent paint offers an extra margin of protection – to people and property. And especially, to see the most critical places where an intumescent paint should be used.


Fires break out for scores of reasons. They are caused by adults' carelessness with cigarettes, children's playing with lighters or matches, electrical short-circuits, lightning, overheated furnaces, cook stove accidents, combustible gas or vapors ignited by the spark of a light switch or a refrigerator cutoff, spontaneous combustion of oily rags or paper stacks and two things in common: they are "unexpected", and their progression to total destruction follows a similar pattern.

Highly qualified experts have studied building fires exhaustively and here is what they have found happens.

When a fire starts by accident, somewhere in a building, - four events take place one after the other: ignition, spread, flashover total combustion. The first event is ignition.

The starting fire can be quite a small blaze to begin with, igniting from any of a score of causes in a room, cellar, attic or wall space. Once ignition takes place – unless controlled – the other three events take place in the following order.

The second event is flamespread. This takes the form of rapidly crawling fire tongues that lick across the surface of walls, ceilings, floors or supporting timbers. What governs the speed and intensity of flamespread is the character of the surface and its evolution of gas – whether substrate itself is combustible or not. The travel rate of flamespread can be as high as 20 feet per second depending upon the surface combustibility of the substrate. The air in the vicinity gets superheated, toxic gases are released, oxygen is used up and yet another element enters the destruction: a large amount of radiant heat.

Adjacent combustible materials – wood, wallboard, surface coatings – ahead of the spreading tongues heat up and the flames lick further, spreading over a constantly wider area. As the flame spread progresses, the heated-up subsurfaces release great volumes of volatile gases into the air. When the mixture of gas and air reaches a critical proportion – it ignites. The result if "flash over". What happens is a great belch of fire, sometimes reaching the proportions of explosion. Most usually, a sudden searing stab of flame flashes from the area of burning, reaching far beyond. This "flashover" instantly uses up most of the surrounding oxygen and can shoot the premise temperature up to over 1000°F.

Flashover – the combination of superheated air, depleted oxygen and sudden evolution of toxic gases – is often the chief culprit for so many deaths in building fires. It is an awesome phenomenon!

If you watched a building fire, you may have seen it. It is the hollow, thunderous "poof" that blows glass from the window frames, sends tongues of flame flashing out every opening. You can often see it in miniature in a fireplace – when a slowly burning log suddenly shoots a flame across its surface and a bright flash fills the hearth. In a building fire – you will see it happen once, at a certain point in the fire's growth, and it is the prelude to the steady roaring total combustion. Flashover is a sudden transition from localized burning to an engulfing, premise-enveloping fire. The aftermath is usually a steady burning, the rate depending upon the amount of available draft, that ends in total destruction.

The final event in the burning sequence is this fiery consumption of the substrate itself as it steadily burns to ash. The rate of destruction depends upon the amount of air reaching the burning area and the combustibility of the fully ignited substrate.

This, then, is what happens in building fires. And this sequence illustrates why and how intumescent paints can help save life and minimize property damage.


Intumescent coatings start turning to insulation foam at a temperature of 300°F – less than a hundred degrees higher than boiling water. The heat sensitive ingredients in the smooth coating react and froth up into a foam containing millions of tiny hollow cells. The expansion is incredibly rapid. What was once a smooth, decorative surface turns into a thick protective layer of insulation.

The insulation foam keeps substrates from rapidly heating up to evolve gas and thus flashover – the destructive event that often puts fire "out of control" – may be prevented or greatly postponed. The frothed mass impedes flamespread and thus holds down smoke and evolution of radiant heat. And, in short, the total burning. It forestalls rapid build-up of intense heat, heavy smoke and evolution of combustible gases.

In a number of fire tests, it has been found this 3-way protective action has been a major factor in keeping a fire within bounds until it could be extinguished. In actual fire, intumescent paints can minimize property damage. And most important – delay of flamespread and total burning can provide precious time – an added margin of safety for building occupants.


The National Fire Protection Association's LIFE SAFETY CODE #101 stipulates the minimum flamespread ratings admissible for walls, ceilings and floors in various parts and kinds of buildings. It specifies the degree of fire safety to be provided for various kinds of occupancy. Local building codes sometimes duplicate and nearly always reflect the fire protection guidance of these national codes. Materials are thus categorized from Class A (Flame Spread 0-25) to Class E (flame Spread over 500). In the construction of new buildings, architects and contractors are guided by local building codes and conformance to established fire safety standards is relatively straight forward. However, a major problem frequently occurs with existing buildings, when learning from experience, a local fire code is tightened or an altogether new code is put into effect.

It is significant that the N.F.P.A. LIFE SAFETY CODE #101 recognizes that intumescent paints can be effective for increasing the fire safety of established buildings. In Section 6-2121 the Codes States: "In existing buildings the required flamespread classification of interior surfaces may be secured by applying approved fire retardant paints or solutions to existing internal surfaces have a higher flame spread rating than permitted."

An intumescent paint applied at the manufacturer's recommended rate can make it possible to comply with a flamespread rating lower than what exists on an already-installed wall, ceiling or other surface. The flamespread rating is shown on the label of the can.

Intumescent paints can give an extra measure of fire protection to property and people. Architects, developers, building superintendents and homeowners can use this simple safeguard in a number of strategic ways.

As a fire retarding coating on roof timbers, floor rafters and support members.

To protect corridors, stairwells between stories, and exits from buildings.

On dividing walls around space heaters, furnaces, or heating plants in basements or compartmented in living areas.

In working areas of a factory or process plant exposed to gas or oil-fired heaters, welding or brazing operations, handling of combustible materials.


Fire fighting coatings come in a broad range of colors. Leading paint manufacturers offer their special brands of intumescent paint – with specified flamespread, smoke evolution ratings, coverage required, and other properties such as resistance to leaching. (This last is highly important, for example in hospitals where frequent scrubbing is necessary.)

It is quite a simple matter to select an intumescent paint for whatever its intended use.

Flamespread ratings are determined by the Method of Test of Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials (N.F.P.A. 255, '72). In general, the lower the "Flamespread Rating" (when coating is applied at the specified rate) the greater the fire retarding power. The lowest flamespread coatings, with ratings from 0-25, are best in this regard, and are grouped as "Class A" materials.

Fire retardant coatings are subject to Underwriters Laboratory testing, rating and listing. Their test for evaluation is UL-723; it covers flamespread (using the N.F.P.A. 255 method), in the UL's annual listings. Frequently, this U.L. rating is printed on the label and/or supplied by the paint maker as printed specifications.

The Federal government recognizes the protection value of intumescent paints for safeguarding property paid for by taxpayers. The General Services Administration specifies the performance required on the basis of fire retardance, scrub and leaching resistance. (G.S.A. TTP-1932).

Aside from aesthetics, an intumescent paint can be selected on the basis of coverage (sq. ft./gallon), film thickness required for a given flamespread rating, choice of 1 or 2 coat system, scrubbability (where abrasion is critical), and resistance to leaching (for frequent washing).

In applying an intumescent paint – whether by brush, spray or roller – the film thickness is highly important. To obtain the specified maximum protection from a particular formulation – the maker's directions for application must be followed.


A fire fighting coating can be worth hundreds of times its cost in minimizing premise damage in the event of fire. And the value cannot be calculated when the "paint" contains or delays fir spread long enough to save human life

When fire breaks out, whatever the source, in an area with surfaces properly coated with intumescent paint – here are the benefits it delivers that a conventional paint cannot:

Upon first encroachment of the source flame, the film (at only 300°) foams up as much a 200 times its thickness to make a continuous insulating foam composed of tiny closed cells.

The greatly expanded cellular foam delays the lateral spread fire and helps protect the substrate beneath it. Occupant escape time is prolonged; destruction of property is delayed, reduced or avoided; restoration costs are minimized.

On properly coated surfaces, the generation of combustible gases and high temperatures that lead to flashover and the creation of lethal atmospheres is delayed or prevented.

The thick, tight-adhered foam coating thermally insulates the substrate walls, ceiling, or support member from excessive heat, thus postponing ignition.
The insulation maintains the protection of the substrate for as long as hours, often long enough to prevent actual ignition.

Even in severe fires that have been brought under control in reasonable time, the substrate wall, ceiling, support timber may often be scraped clean and found to be still in serviceable condition.

Intumescent paints are not designed prevent fires. They are designed to keep damage to a minimum and to "buy time" until help can arrive.

Fire Retardants Inc.
123 Columbia Court North, Suite 201
Chaska, MN 55318
Phone: (952) 448-5300
Fax: (952) 448-2613
Toll Free: (800) 913-9385

Helping Others Resisting fires is a Chaska company's business

A few weeks ago, the Eden Prairie Center decorated its mall area with hay bales and cornstalks. Before doing so, it consulted with a Chaska firm, Fire Retardants Inc.

Fire Retardants Inc. is a 25-year-old company that specializes in providing fire resistant products for home and industry.

According to Mr. Anderson, one of its principals, his is the company high schools turn to when they festoon the gym with crepe paper for prom or other activities. It is the company the Dales turn to for fire resistant materials each Christmas season. It is a company the Renaissance Festival and Shrine Circus concessionaires have turned to for fire resistant materials to use on their booths. And it is the company known to many theatre groups who need fire resistant qualities in their props and drops.

Mr. Anderson, is a strong advocate of the use of fire resistant materials.

"They literally buy you time (in case of a fire). "In most cases, not much extra time is needed," said Anderson. "Fire resistant products Inhibit not only the fire but the toxic fumes and smoke, which are what kill people."

Broader use in his kinds of products began, Anderson suggested, about the time of the MGM Hotel fire in Las Vegas. "If they had used intumescent (fire resistant) paint in all these hotels that had fires, people could have got out."

In a typical situation, Anderson suggested, if a fire starts in a waste basket it ignites the curtains, climbs the curtains, begins to burn the ceiling and continues to spread. When fire resistant materials are used the fire may self-extinguish or, at worst, spread more slowly.

Any natural fiber can be made fire resistant. Carpets, drapes, decorative wood walls, cabinets, mattresses, furniture, and tents all can be treated for greater safety.
Anderson's company distributes the fire retardant made by other companies. Because of extensive knowledge of those products' properties. Both through his distributorship and a sister company that provides design service, he said his company is able to pick the right product for the job and has the knowledge to apply it correctly. "As far as I know, we're the only company with extensive experience in the proper use and application," he said.

Calls for service come from all over the country. Many come through word-of-mouth, about 50 percent in response to Yellow Pages advertising.

Fire resistant materials have been around for many years, but Anderson thinks he sees their use growing. Kitchens an decks are just two of the household locations that could us the extra protection, he said. Homes used for daycare could use fire retardant paints and fabrics in key areas, including exit halls.

Anderson has one customer in California who has made a business out of providing extra fire protection. With a company known as Roof Saver, he applied fire Resistant chemicals to cedar roof shingles in the fire-prone hills of southern California.

Mr. Anderson is convinced that his is not only a business, but one that saves lives.

Acoustical Surfaces, Inc.
Soundproofing, Acoustics, Noise & Vibration Control Specialists
We Identify and S.T.O.P. Your Noise Problems

123 Columbia Court North Suite 201
Chaska, MN 55318
Toll Free: (800) 470-6652 Noise Control Help Line
Tel: (952) 448-5300
Fax: (952) 448-2613
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