Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Historic Preservation

Committee Chair/Advisor

Stephanie Crette

Committee Member

Amalia Leifeste

Committee Member

Betty Prime


Within the field of Historic Preservation, wood is an essential building material to understand and develop effective treatments to preserve given its wide spread use in history in particular the United States and North America. One of wood's fatal properties is its combustibility. Fire is a constant threat to all historic structures, and materials which requires considered interventions. Over time, advancements in building technology, methods and materials have emerged to combat wood’s propensity for combustion. Intumescent paint, a fire protective coating, which can be used as passive fire protection, has been adopted in the Historic Preservation field in decades since its development in the1980’s. The paint can aid in meeting fire safety requirements and standards for historic structures; but has not been thoroughly tested in two major ways relating to preservation practice. Number one, intumescent paint has not been tested on a wood substrate as much as metal. The second, successful reversibility on intumescent paint. This thesis evaluates the reversibility of four different intumescent paints when applied to historic wood. Testing evaluates if these intumescent paints are reversible after application, and also if they are reversible after flame exposure. This was accomplished using a 19th century historic wood beam as the substrate. The beam was cut into smaller samples and four different intumescent paints were applied to these samples. A select few samples with paint were exposed to flame. Then all underwent reversibility testing via infrared technology. Through each testing stage, the samples were analyzed visually through multiple forms of microscopy and metrics such as weight. This information can be utilized in the conservation and use of historic wood structures.



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