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A sustainable flame retardant for timber buildings

Scientists have developed an eco-friendly process for increasing the fire resistance of timber that also dramatically increases its strength. While methods for fire-proofing timber materials already exist, most of them involve treatments that employ substances that are noxious or hazardous to human health.

Researchers from Stony Brook University have developed a new type of timber flame retardant that is not only sustainable and environmentally friendly, but also radically raises the strength of treated materials.

The flame retardant consists of a phosphorus-based compound called resorcinol bis (RDP). This compound has already been declared by the EPA to be a preferred substitute for halogenated flame retardants. RDP penetrates the natural structure of timber materials and interacts with its cellulose, producing a wood-plastic composite that surpasses UL94 V-0 flammability standards. 

The absence of toxic byproducts in combination this strengthening effect could make the process ideal for flame-proofing timber materials employed in the construction of habitable buildings.

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Photo credit: Sourceable

 

Posted Date: February 4, 2015

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