Researchers have developed a new class of fire-resistant polymer coatings are not only cheap and versatile but are also able to survive much higher heat. A team at CSIRO in Australia has developed the fire- resistant coating materials, called HIPS (hybrid inorganic polymer system), which can withstand temperatures of up to 1000°C and could be applied to building materials. HIPS coatings contain an inorganic geopolymer resin and a small component of polymer additives, which can form thin fireproof coatings on timbers such as weatherboards and on metals like galvanised steel. It can also protect brickwork, either as thin coating or as a render. HIPS can be applied by spray equipment, roller or brush, and cures from ambient temperature to below 90°C. They are fire-, blast- and acid-resistant, and are also strong, castable, sprayable, and extrudable, making their potential uses almost limitless. The polymer additives in HIPS improve the flexibility and waterproofing properties, and provide stronger adhesion, which are important properties for a coating. HIPS coatings are free of volatile organic compounds, do not burn or produce heat, and do not release smoke or toxic chemicals at temperatures up to 1200°C. The strength of HIPS materials is comparable with that of phenolic resins in heat-sensitive applications, but HIPS retains higher strength at high temperatures. Its formulations are tailored to be interchangeable with phenolic resins, and have higher fatigue resistance than normal phenolics. Geopolymers are cost-competitive, since they are made from readily available raw materials. They can also be derived from industrial by-products such as flyash and blast furnace slag. They can be cheaper than organic resins and coloured with pigments or dyes.