Passive fire protection measures are installed in different areas of a building or structure. These materials are used to provide protection and safety against the spread of smoke or fire. These materials also provide routes for escape. Passive fire protection materials limit the spread of fire for a stipulated timeframe. Structural fire protection, compartmentation, opening protection, and fire stopping barriers are the four primary areas where passive fire protection measures are generally implemented.
Major application areas of passive fire protection measures are residential buildings, commercial and institutional buildings, HVAC systems, and onshore and offshore oil rigs. The construction sector in Saudi Arabia has expanded significantly in the last few years. The country has well-established fire protection standards, which need to be adhered to as per the law. The passive fire protection materials market for construction is anticipated to witness strong growth in Saudi Arabia during the forecast period. Additionally, increase in the number of oil rigs in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia is further projected to boost market growth. Solvent-based intumescent coatings emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at a much higher rate. This is likely to hamper market growth.
In terms of volume, foams & boards was the largest product segment, accounting for over 90% share of the passive fire protection materials market in 2014. Fire resistant boards are sheets of non-combustible fireproofing materials. Calcium silicate boards are widely used for passive fire protection in buildings. Other products (including putties, mortar, cementitious spray, and fire block) held a significant share of the rest of the market in 2014. Demand for intumescent coatings was high in the structural steel fireproofing application segment in 2014. It is expected to be the fastest growing product segment during the forecast period.
Structural steel fireproofing was the largest application segment of the passive fire protection materials market, constituting nearly 25% share in 2014. Structural steel protection forms an integral part of fire protection in buildings. Furthermore, fire protection measures for tanks, vessels, pipes, etc. are increasing in the oil & gas industry due to rise in the number of mishaps owing to fire safety issues. Civil application emerged as the second-largest application segment of the passive fire protection materials market in 2014. Sealing of joints, annular or penetration gaps, walls, and flooring is vital to obstruct fire from spreading from one section or compartment to another. Mechanical & electrical applications include coating of cables & wires and pipes. Other applications include doors, window frameworks, and glasses.
The market for passive fire protection materials in Saudi Arabia is moderately fragmented; large number of players operate in the market. Additionally, large multinational companies export passive fire protection materials to Saudi Arabia through third-party distributors or their own distribution network. Leading players in the passive fire protection materials market include Carboline Company, Promat International, Hilti Group, Jotun, and 3M Company.