Effects of Borax and Boric Acid as Fire Retardants on the Resistance of Pterygota macrocarpa Wood to Fire Tests
J M Owoyemi, O Apogbona, T O Akinwamide
The combustible nature of wood as a building material, when exposed to hazards of fire underscores the reason for fire retardant treatments. Pterygota macrocarpa wood is commonly used by builders in Nigeria for roof and other structural applications. Therefore, this study was carried out to assess the effect of Borax and Boric acid on the fire-retardant properties of P. macrocarpa wood. Wood samples of dimension 200 x 95 x 10 mm were obtained from the harvested tree of P. macrocarpa across and along at 25%, 50% and 75% of the total length. The result revealed that the control samples without any fire retardant treatment had the highest weight loss of 16.06±7.61 %, followed by samples treated with boric acid (14.74%), while the lowest percentage weight loss of 4.26±1.51 % was observed for P. macrocarpa wood treated with borax. The study shows that percentage weight loss due to combustion of borate-treated wood samples decreases with an increasing proportion of borax in the treatment combination revealing that borax provides better protection than boric acid.
Keywords: weight loss, fire retardant, combustion, borate, borax and boric acid