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Tuesday, 17 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Applications

New additive provides fire protection for wood

Friday, 3 May 2019

Empa specialists have developed a new flame retardant for wood and wood-based materials. The colourless additive can easily be mixed with coatings and cellulose materials.

The newly developed flame retardant has already demonstrated its effectiveness in internal tests. Image source: raedon / Pixabay (symbol image).

The newly developed flame retardant has already demonstrated its effectiveness in internal tests. Image source: raedon / Pixabay (symbol image).

Fire protection requirements are increasing worldwide - especially in public buildings and vehicle construction. This development means that more and more otherwise suitable materials such as wood can no longer be used in many buildings or means of transport and must be substituted by other products. The aim of the research project was therefore to develop a flame retardant that increases the fire resistance of such materials without impairing the positive properties of the materials.

Flame retardant produces no toxic vapors

The new flame retardant meets these requirements: It is colourless and can be mixed with water-based paints or UV protective coatings and can be used not only as a coating but also as an additive in wood-based panels. In addition, it is free of bromine and boron and contains no halogenated organic compounds. It produces no toxic vapors and develops its flame-retardant effect at concentrations as low as ten percent.

Additive has demonstrated its effectiveness

The new flame retardant is based on the substance EDA-bis-TEPT developed by Empa, a flame retardant from the class of organophosphonates. It combines phosphorus and nitrogen moieties in a single molecule, which has flame-retardant effects on cellulose. 

The newly developed additive has already demonstrated its effectiveness in internal tests and has been protected by a patent application since 2018. Application tests are currently being carried out, for example the addition to various commercially available building materials and paint systems is being tested. Further Information can be found on the Empa-Website.

Image source: Pixabay.

Event tip

At the European Coatings Seminar on 22 May im Amsterdam you will discover the underlying chemistries of fire-retardant coatings. This seminar provides a comprehensive overview of current European fire standards and laws.

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