Associate professor of structural engineering discusses use of intumescent paint in Philadelphia Inquirer coverage of I-95 bridge collapse

Spencer Quiel, an associate professor of structural engineering and an expert on the resistance of bridges and other structures to extreme loads, including fire, was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer's coverage of I-95 bridge collapse.

In the June 11, 2023, story "Fire causes one bridge failure every year, yet most are not required to be fire-resistant," Quiel, whose work at Lehigh has included fire-testing materials used in bridge construction, explained that bridge fires are "low-probability but high-consequence events" and that some transportation agencies are looking into whether revisions to design codes are needed. 

According to the article:

"To protect steel girders from high heat, one option is covering them with a specialty coating called intumescent paint, he said.

“It creates a char layer that expands, which creates a thermal resistance layer,” he said.

Such paints already are used to protect steel beams in settings where fires are a greater risk, such as chemical plants and oil-drilling platforms."

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