Section 704.13.3 Substrate conditions. The sprayed fire-resistant material (SFRM) shall be applied to a substrate in compliance with Sections 704.13.3.1 and 704.13.3.2.

Section 704.13.3 COMMENTARY: The in-place adhesion of SFRM can be reduced by a factor of 10 when applied over certain primers compared to the adhesion obtained by the rated material applied on bare, clean steel. This section gives the requirements for the surface condition of the substrate receiving the SFRM.

The IBC code is really emphasizing BOND or, in other words, keeping the SFRM on the steel. You may not be aware that the code is FOCUSING on the BOND if you only review the special inspections required by chapter 17, section 1705.14 of the code. Chapter 17 trumpets (over and over) the fact that you need to review section 704.13 of chapter 7, “Fire and Smoke Protection Features” if you are going to provide SFRM special inspections on project work.

Section 704.13 covers certain conditions where SFRM can be applied over primers, paints, etc. but additional testing must be done to demonstrate that the required bond strength is maintained. The rationale is, above all else, SFRM must remain bonded to the steel to be effective. Numerous special inspection tasks are mentioned and section 704.13.5 summarizes that the finished condition of SFRM applied to structural members or assemblies shall not, upon complete drying or curing, exhibit cracks, voids, spalls, delaminations or any exposure of the substrate. Surface irregularities of SFRM shall be deemed acceptable. FINALLY, the last sentence of the section stipulates that section 704.13 and the special inspections required by section 1705.14 of chapter 17 establish the acceptance criteria, jointly, for the finished condition of the SFRM.

Section 1705.14.2 Structural member surface conditions.

The surfaces shall be prepared in accordance with the approved fire-resistance design and the written instructions of approved manufacturers. The prepared surface of structural members to be sprayed shall be inspected by the special inspector BEFORE the application of the sprayed fire-resistant material (SFRM).

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