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Fire-retardant paint is latest tool against bushfire

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Wed 22 Nov 2023

A new fire-retardant paint that expands and creates a protective insulating layer during fire events is now on sale at Bunnings for around $39 a litre. 

Formulated by engineers at UNSW Sydney, the paint passed the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) 40 standard which is used to assess resistance of materials to fire.  

The FSA FIRECOAT brand paint was developed in partnership with Flame Security International, and partially funded by an Australian government grant. UNSW Professor Guan Yeoh led a team that spent nearly five years perfecting the formula.  

The resulting intumescent paint is designed to expand as a result of heat exposure. Chemicals in the water-based pale grey undercoat paint also produce a thick layer of char which offers an insulating barrier to deflect the heat from the fire.    

“The char is what helps the substrate, that is your house or your building, stay protected from the fire,” says Mr Yeoh said. “At the end you can just wipe it away and the wood underneath has virtually no damage.”   

Insurers contacted by insuranceNEWS.com.au said they don’t currently ask underwriting questions related to fireproof paint but welcomed the measure and said it could potentially have a favourable impact on premiums.  Read more

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