Coventry, Great Britain – A hot candidate for innovative fire protection
With Nullifire, tremco illbruck has a strong product brand for passive fire protection. The range meets the complex requirements and increasingly stringent construction standards in the field of fire protection safely and reliably, offering proven fire resistance of up to 240 minutes. Nullifire has been leading the way for more than 40 years now with the experience and outstanding expertise it brings in the fields of fire protection coatings and fire protection bulkheads. These innovative products are developed in tremco illbruck's technology centre in Coventry, Great Britain. Dr. Michael Leitner is Head of Research & Development activities. His team is aware of its great responsibility: Protecting lives. Everyone here is working towards this purpose day after day.
Outstanding product development
25 employees work at the Coventry location and more than ten of these employees work in research & development (R&D). The focus of their research is intumescent fire protection products. R&D activities focusing on sealants and coatings also take place here in close collaboration with the technology centre in Traunreut. Partnerships between our technology centres are an important element of our innovation strategy. “There are shared interfaces between many product development processes”, says Michael Leitner.
“Pooling our skills and seeking solutions together is extremely important.
If a new idea works well in one area of application, it can also be of enormous benefit in other areas in which it is used.” This is not the only factor which explains the high potential for innovation in Coventry.
Assured process quality and value engineering
Generally speaking, all business units are involved in the development of new products: Sales, Marketing, Production, R&D and Finance. Planning for success. The Head of R&D knows how to achieve this: “We follow the Stage Gate model in product development. We analyse the technical and operational merits of a project. Only once all of the relevant departments have signed off a project do we begin with the actual development work.” This means that the process quality is thoroughly safeguarded – from the product idea through to the market launch.
In addition to pure product development, “Value Engineering” also plays a significant role: tremco illbruck constantly assesses its products for cost-effectiveness. “By conducting regular value analyses, we continue to improve the benefits of our products with regard to the resources we utilise”, explains Michael Leitner. >>
>> A milestone in fire protection
SC900, which is the patented intumescent fire protection system, represents a milestone in product development for passive fire protection. The development and approval processes for the product range took five years. The R&D department in Coventry worked on this in close collaboration with the technology centre in Traunreut and utilised the hybrid technology which is also successfully used in our sealants and adhesives. Customary intumescents are either water-based or contain solvents. Nullifire is also a pioneer in water-based technologies for steel fire protection. S707-60 was the world's first water-based intumescent for the purposes of fire protection for steel components. As water-based intumescents are environmentally friendly, SC707-60 has been successfully deployed for decades. S707-60 is the product of choice for fire resistance of up to 60 minutes. However, the application of water-based intumescents is weather-dependent, and it is recommended that a primer is used in order to prevent corrosion.
SC900, our innovative hybrid steel protection product, stands out with its one-layer system, i.e. in just one step, our technology offers exemplary fire protection and saves 60% labour time – whether on a building site or during production. “With other systems, seven to ten coats of paint need to be applied in order to achieve 120 minutes of fire resistance. Here, one single coat is required.” In addition to its high fire resistance and low emissions of toxic substances, this product is also notable for its extreme resistance to weather.
Life-saving research work
As the product quality is so high, it is not surprising that SC900 has enjoyed great success on the market since its global launch in 2013. Work on the next generation of the fire protection system is already underway. The successor to the water-based steel coating product S707-60 is also in development. “It isn’t enough for us to develop the best product that the international market has to offer. It's about becoming even better. Because tremco illbruck products are required to save lives.”