Launched in 2013, Jotachar JF750 promised to help users reduce cost and save time while protecting steel structures against a broad range of hydrocarbon fire scenarios, including jet fires. Two years later, a growing amount of data and on-site customer experience has supported Jotun’s product claims. Jotun’s sales revenues for Jotachar in the first quarter of 2015 have already surpassed totals achieved in the whole of 2014.
According to John Warner, Jotun category manager for Intumescent Coatings, the absence of any mesh reinforcement in the Jotachar system means that the required Jotachar thickness for any fire scenario can be applied in a single day. By comparison, just 6 mm is typical for traditional mesh containing products. “Independent tests show that, for a typical 6,000 m2 project, Jotachar can cut material costs by more than 20% and application time by 60%,” he says. “In addition, Jotachar removes the risk of installation errors inherent in mesh containing systems, while minimising installation time and cost. This has the effect of significantly reducing project complexity and improving profitability for the installer.”
Customer feedback supports these findings, including endorsements from major PFP users such as Marine and Shore Group, a Thai-based specialist PFP installer. Managing director, Malcolm Summers, noted that Jotachar enabled the company to meet a very tight schedule on a major offshore PFP yard project. “The applicators coated a total area of 1,572 m2 in a week with one pump and a crew of 20 people,” he says. “This was a first for us.”
Summers added that the team could keep on the move and work faster than usual, and that in addition to the obvious benefit of being mesh-free, Jotachar had additional application qualities that improved quality and saved on man-hours. “Film build was excellent,” says Summers. “The team could apply to greater thickness than usual, with no concern at all of sagging, which meant no need for highly time consuming reworks.”
When applied to local areas, Jotachar seemed to blend in naturally without effort and with no visible patch effect. “We are very pleased with the performance of this product and hope to use Jotachar on all future projects,” says Summers.
Warner said that the experience of Marine and Shore Group is common. “Even the most conservative operators have been amazed by Jotachar’s certification credentials and application characteristics,” he states. “At a time when margins in the industry are being squeezed, operators are in urgent need of new technologies that are proven to help meet project budgets and schedules.”
While Jotachar has found success in the newbuild market, the product is particularly suitable for maintenance projects. “Jotachar's mesh free advantage enables maintenance teams to complete work in a single day, cutting shut down periods significantly,” he says. “Jotachar can be hand applied down to 5°C extending the weather window for colder climate use. In addition, modified airless spray application means that smaller areas can be applied with greater mobility.”
As a safety critical element helping to save lives while preventing loss of assets in the event of a hydrocarbon fire, independent testing and Classification Society Type Approvals are essential for PFP coatings. In addition to certification to all major Classification Societies, Jotachar JF750 is also approved under Underwriters Laboratories listing scheme for up to 240 minutes protection.
Only the most robust epoxy PFP systems can meet the latest industry demands for protecting against the highest heat flux jet fires exceeding 350 kW/m2. Jotachar JF750 is the only mesh free system to be successfully tested to this requirement. Jotachar is fully compliant to the latest revision of Norsok M-501, which is widely considered to be the industry’s most rigorous durability test standard, proving corrosion resistance, material durability, mechanical and fire performance after exposure.
Warner expects the current surge of Jotachar contracts to continue. “We always knew that Jotachar was a game-changing technology and we are now starting to see that the industry agrees. We look forward to continuing to provide owners, fabricators and applicators with a product that can reduce their exposure to risk while helping them to minimize cost and save time.”