Wood-leather panels – A biological, fire retardant building material
S Wieland, U Stöckl, T Grünewald, S Ostrowski, A Petutschnigg
The poor flame retardant properties of wood-based products are among the severest obstacles, hindering its use in the commercial building sector. Recently, some attempts to improve the fire properties, relying on inflammable salts or reactive halogen compounds, have been presented, although they either cause problems with machining or embody harmful compounds (halogen derivates).
In this paper, the fire retardant properties of a novel material, wood-leather panels, are determined by the use of flame tests in a furnace according to ÖNORM EN ISO 1363:2011. The specimens were evaluated according to integrity and surface temperature.
For the test specimens, wet white (WW) and wet blue (WB) leather shavings, with varying contents were used.
The main finding is that both, panels containing WW and WB leather shavings, show properties superior to current flame-retardant medium density fibre boards, MDF B1,s2-d0. An optimum was found here at a leather content of 50%.
In order to describe this behaviour towards fire in further detail, the calorific value of the material as well as the thermal conductivity were determined. As the leather panels produce a foam-like structure during the fire treatment, it is assumed, that this is caused by the exhaust of gases, leading to decreased temperature flow through the specimen, resulting in the observed properties.
It can be concluded that the panels show superior fire retardant properties, compared to commonly available flame retardant material. Therefore further research in this field is proposed, with the aim to produce a certified product.