Meet Roger Tobler: Helping Australian customers win
The People Behind the Protection
Dulux® Protective Coatings team members explain how they support customers, provide industry leadership and add value to projects all over Australia.
As Dulux® Protective Coatings’ Intumescent Coatings Business Development Manager, Roger Tobler provides technical advice and support to specifiers, applicators and fabricators, to help them achieve fire protection for internal and external steel.
Leveraging our high-performing FirePro® and Promat Cafco® Sprayfilm WB3 products, Roger is passionate about helping clients select the best fire protection solution. He brings more than a decade’s experience in intumescent coatings to his role.
What is your background, and how long have you worked with intumescent coatings?
I am qualified in mechanical engineering, steel fabrication and currently qualified as a NACE 2 Coating Inspector. I spent 10 years at PPG in South Africa, where I was the sales/projects lead for both cellulosic and hydrocarbon intumescent coatings. The majority of my role involved providing support on intumescent coating specifications and applications.
After I moved to Australia, I started at Dulux in Newcastle before moving to Melbourne to support the introduction of our intumescent coatings and specifications.
I take a hands-on approach to all of my roles. I enjoy helping people understand intumescent coatings and explaining how they work. I often get the opportunity to pass on ideas to fabricators and applicators that allow them to make improvements or achieve savings in their yards.
What should architects, specifiers, applicators and fabricators consider when choosing an intumescent coating?
Intumescent coatings extend a building’s structural stability in the event of a fire, which means there’s more time for people to safely evacuate. Settings where intumescent coatings save lives include stadiums, hotels, towers, museums, offices and apartment blocks to name a few.
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to choosing an intumescent coating. It’s vital to consider the setting and substrate, and to check product technical data sheets to confirm that the coating is suited to your particular project. It’s also important to work with trained applicators, who have the right experience and equipment to apply intumescent coatings. On top of checking our data sheets and getting the application right, they should contact us so we can advise on which products to use, and calculate the right amount of product needed for the project.
A key advantage of partnering with Dulux Protective Coatings is that we can provide a complete coatings system. As well as the intumescent coating, we provide primers and topcoats that have been tested to perform together to provide fire protection. This holistic approach is the best way to ensure the products perform as designed.
What products are available in the Dulux Protective Coatings intumescent range?
The FirePro® range has two ultra high build epoxy intumescent:
These coatings provide between 60 minutes and 120 minutes of cellulosic fire protection for internal and external steel up to a C5 environment.
The FirePro® range is fast drying, resistant to handling damage and transportable from shop to site. As they are so durable, FirePro® coatings are typically applied off site in paint yards and steel workshops.
Our intumescent range also includes Promat Cafco® Sprayfilm WB3, a water based coating consisting of polyvinyl acetate resins and fillers. It provides fire protection of up to 120 minutes in accordance with the Australian Standard AS 4100-1998 (AMDT 1-2012).
What are the implications of off-site application of intumescent coatings?
The FirePro® range is typically applied off site and to new steel. Because of this, it’s important to get the specification right as early as possible in the project planning phase.
I work with specifiers to select the correct intumescent coating and to plan its application at the right time in the project. Applying intumescent coatings off site represents an industry shift, and it saves a lot of time and money. It also minimises many of the safety risks associated with on site application, because a fabrication or workshop environment can be more easily controlled.
Can you explain the safety and sustainability credentials of the FirePro range?
FirePro® intumescent coatings contain no solvents and have very low VOCs, making them better for the environment.
Where to next for Dulux in the intumescent coatings space?
At Dulux Protective Coatings, we’re at the beginning of our intumescent coatings journey. We’re partnering with applicators, fabricators and asset owners to provide new, highly durable coatings for new steel, and supporting the industry to embrace these technologically advanced products. At the end of the day, it’s all about safety and saving lives. In terms of job satisfaction, you can’t get much more rewarding than that!