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Effects of intumescent formulation of vinyl acetate-based coating on flame-retardancy of thin painted red lauan (Parashorea spp.) plywood
2011 - IRG/WP 10-40537
Using intumescent coatings on wood-based materials is an effective method for fire safety. The intumescent coatings consist of four major components: (1) binder resin (BR), (2) carbonizing substance (CS), (3) foam producing substance (FPS) and (4) dehydrating agent (DA). Previous studies have demonstrated that the formulation of the four components strongly influences the performance of coatings. This study investigated the effect of intumescent formulation of vinyl acetate-based coating on flame-retardancy of plywood. Two sorts of widely used binder resin (BR) for vinyl acetate-based coating, ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer (EVAc) and vinyl acetate acrylic copolymer (VAC), were used. The fire retardancy of coatings on plywood was assessed by a cone calorimeter. Total heat release and time to peak heat release rate are the two primary parameters. The data showed that lower BR and FPS content decreased total heat release and lengthen time to peak heat release rate. This mechanism to achieve better fire performance was verified by using oxygen bomb calorimeter and thermogravimetrical analysis, exhibiting lower heat of combustion and weight loss. The lower BR and FPS content can extend the survival duration of phosphor-carbonaceous chars. The results provide information for designing vinyl acetate-based coating.
Chih-Shen Chuang, Kuang-Chung Tsai, Te-Hsin Yang, Ming-Kuang Wang, Chun-Han Ko

Combustion and thermal characteristics of Korean wood species
2016 - IRG/WP 16-40727
This study examined the combustion and thermal characteristics of domestic woods in Korea. Wood was confirmed by a cone calorimeter according to the KS F ISO 5660-1 standard. The combustion properties of the wood were measured in terms of the heat release rate (HRR), total heat released (THR), mass lose rate (MLR), and ignition time (time to ignition; TTI). Also, the thermal properties were measured by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to determine the thermal stability of wood. The result of this experiment would be useful for fundamentals of guiding the combustion properties and thermal stability using wood application.
Huyun Jeong Seo, Jung-eun Park, Dong Won Son, Won-Joung Hwang

Selection of heat flux value for wood fire retardants testing using MLC
2018 - IRG/WP 18-40846
One of more crucial elements of investigating treated wood combustion properties with the use of a cone calorimeter is a proper selection of heat flux (HF). The HF level is directly reflected in time to ignition and a thermal degradation degree. The ignition of raw wood or of wood ineffectively protected against fire occurs at a low HF level, i.e. 10-20 kW/m2. By contrast, the ignition of wood which is effectively protected against fire, may occur no sooner than at HF 50 or even at 75 kW/m2. The aim of the paper was to analyse the problem of the selection of heat flux intensity in both experimental and standard fire testing with the use of a mass loss calorimeter (MLC). The subject of the analysis was wood treated with protective agents of various durability and fire resistance. On the one hand, the high HF value for wood samples of low fire resistance restricts or even excludes practical applications of an MLC as a tool for the evaluation of fire protection efficiency. On the other hand, too low value of HF prevents wood either from ignition or from determination of its thermal degradation degree. It especially applies to the situation when wood is effectively protected against fire. In both cases, the problem arises at the interpretation stage of obtained results. The identified problem was presented on the example of wood treated with chemical compounds which are ingredients of commonly used fire retardants, i.e. MAP – monoammonium phosphate, DAP – diammonium phosphate and PC – potassium carbonate, well known for their fire retardant properties. They are also known for their high solubility, which proves their high leaching from wood resulting consequently in a significant decrease in fire retardant properties. Unfortunately a versatile research procedure was not proposed in the performed study. However, the necessity for the individual selection of physical properties of a combustion process was emphasised. The above forces an unconventional method of result interpretation.
B Mazela, W Perdoch, W Grześkowiak, A Batista

The development of a suitable fire retardant for Radiata pine and other species
2019 - IRG/WP 19-30744
The use of fire retardant chemicals, with the overarching aim of creating a safer environment is not a new one, however it is generally under-developed and is often afflicted with an image of environmental and health issues and misperceived high costs. There is an ever-increasing need and desire for effective fire retardancy in timbers to inhibit or suppress the combustion process. This is paramount throughout the world, ever more so now with the effects of climate change driving the need for better protection of building timbers both in commercial and domestic use. Year on year, fires around the globe, on average are becoming larger and seemingly more destructive. These fires are affecting not only forest, bush and scrub land but populated areas too. Fire is unpredictable, destroying residences and taking lives. By slowing combustion, lives can be saved by giving people longer to evacuate. In this study we have investigated enhanced fire resistance properties for a number of timber species in relation to the heat release values (of various species of timber). Unlike many traditional fire retardants which are painted or sprayed onto the timber, this new innovative chemistry is applied by vacuum/pressure impregnation with a fire retardant based on phosphorus and nitrogen synergy. We have conducted a number of trials here in New Zealand and will continue to do so on Radiata pine (Pinus radiata), Western red cedar (Thuja plicata), American white oak (Quercus alba) and Silver beech (Nothofagus menziesii). Variability within material and species plays a key role in retention of the fire retardant and subsequent performance of these wood products when subjected to intense heat. The fire testing results from a research laboratory utilising the small-scale test method ISO 5660 – cone calorimeter test confirm the proven benefits of this fire retardant.
B R Derham, M R Fortune

Bio-friendly preservative systems for enhanced wood durability - the first periodic report on DURAWOOD
2015 - IRG/WP 15-30677
The objective of the paper is the DURAWOOD scientific project carried out within Polish-Norwegian Research Programme, which lasts from September 2013 till August 2016. The aim of the project concentrates on the developing of a new, eco-friendly and biocide-free wood protective systems as an alternative to traditional, commonly used preservatives or coatings, containing biocides. Several wood preservatives containing traditional biocides are no longer desired on the market, due to the stricter toxicological requirements and an increasing ecological awareness of consumers. Therefore, formulating new wood protective systems, based on natural compounds, harmless to humans and the environment, is of the principle interest. On the other hand, it will also facilitate a longer period of carbon capture in wood, which will limit the greenhouse effect. Life cycle assessment (LCA), which is planned to perform for the selected model formulations, is a good example for an attempt to explain the interest. Besides, the implementation of novel solutions in wood protection will make it possible to use low quality wood material to manufacture high quality products (e.g. siding or cladding materials). In this manner such eco-friendly wood protection will be also a key factor reinforcing climate protection. The aim of this paper is to present some selected results gained so far. The model wood protecting systems were based on natural (alkaloids, propolis, plant oils) and synthetic (organosilicones, imidazoles) components as well as on neutral inorganic chemical - potassium carbonate. They were used individually or as a formulation for wood treatment. Wood samples made of Scots pine were treated by soaking or vacuum method and were subjected to mycological and fire tests. The so far results show that aminosilanes and mixtures thereof with natural oils are potential wood preservatives against microfungi and wood destroying fungi. Formulations containing aminosilanes, natural oils and potassium carbonate are potential wood fire retardants. It was also found that the most effective alkaloids were cytisine derivatives and caffeine. The highest antifungal activity among tested imidazoles was achieved by AK17 (1,10-di(3-hydroxymethylpyridinium)decanedibromide). The results of chemical analysis present evidence of interactions between compounds of the model formulations and wood chemical components.
B Mazela, M Broda, W Perdoch, L Ross Gobakken, I Ratajczak, G Cofta, W Grześkowiak, A Komasa, A Przybył

Wood-Plastic Composites preservation against fire: Nanofillers as fire retardant alternative
2018 - IRG/WP 18-40843
The purpose of this study is to improve fire resistance of Wood-Plastic Composites (WPCs) by adding inorganic nanofillers. Indeed, the main components of WPC, namely wood and polymer are both flammable materials despite the fact that WPCs are used in the field of construction. The effect of nanofillers on fire retardancy of Wood-High density polyethylene Composites was studied with three nanofillers, an organically modified nanoclay and fumed nanosilica and nanoalumina with percentages of 1%, 3% and 5% respectively. Samples had been prepared by twin-screw extrusion with percentages of 20%, 30% and 40% of Aspen fibers. The thermal stability was evaluated from thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), while the flammability behavior was tested using cone calorimetry. It was found that the nanocomposites showed better thermal stability than non-filled WPC. Measurements from the Cone calorimetry test (Heat Release Rate, Total Heat Release, Carbon monoxide and Carbon dioxide) makes it possible to observe trends in fire behavior. Fire resistance improves with the increasing percentage of nanofillers. The nanoclay exhibits the lowest values of Peak Heat Release Rate (PHRR), Flashover Propensity Index (FPI) and Mass Loss Rate (MLR) as well as the highest ignition time (TTI). It is therefore considered to be the most efficient nanoparticle for fire retardancy. The char yield based on TGA analyses correlated with the PHRR in cone calorimetry tests and a high correlation coefficient between the char yield and PHRR (R2 = 0.909) was found. Furthermore, the char yield correlated with melting enthalpy based on DSC measurements and a high correlation coefficient R2 = 0.9229 was obtained.
D Ben Ammar, A Koubaa, S Migneault, H Bouafif

Green approach in wood mineralization for improvement of fire properties
2022 - IRG/WP 22-30769
Various treatments have been developed in order to improve fire properties of wood. Because the use of some flame retardants can release toxic compounds in the event of a fire, leading to poisoning or even death of people from smoke inhalation, the use of no-toxic and more ecologically acceptable flame retardants is preferable. Mineralization of wood with the incorporation of carbonates has proven to be a promising method for improving fire properties. The paper presents fire properties of two wood species (spruce and beech) modified using recently proposed eco-friendly mineralization process. Method is based on vacuum pressure impregnation using water solution of calcium acetoacetate which transforms to CaCO3 deep inside the wood structure. The parameters for determining the classification of reaction to fire were investigated. The increase in time ignition, decrease in the total heat release and the fire growth rate index were observed for mineralized wood. Moreover, reduced weight loss in different pyrolysis process of mineralized wood determined by thermogravimetric analysis indicates improved fire performance of such material.
A Pondelak, R Repič, L Škrlep, N Knez, F Knez, A S Škapin