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The primary function of fire-retardant coatings is to reduce the flammability of substrates to which they are applied. To do this, the coating itself must be nonflammable. It is also desirable that the coating insulate to some degree against the heat generated by the fire, thereby extending the time required for the substrate to reach the ignition temperature, or the time for the heat to pass through a noncombustible substrate to combustible matter on the other side.
Van Heuckeroth, AW