Review: Polydopamine coatings for timber protection against fire

Global warming has boosted the frequency and severity of bushfires in Australia, and several regions of the world, calling for the urgent development of fire-proof buildings and architectures. This natural hazard has driven an ever-increasing demand for innovative building materials to slow or stop fire spread.

A forest fire
Due to climate change Image source: geralt - Pixabay (symbol image).

Polydopamine (PDA) was introduced as an innovative, inexpensive, and nontoxic intumescent coating to induce flame-retardancy less than a decade ago and has been used on several substrates. Although several reports document the fire retardance enhancement in materials by including PDA, either as an embedded additive into nanocomposites or in the form of a protective coating onto a substrate, there is limited literature that represents the application of PDA coatings on timber substrates.

Polydopamine coating on timber

A new review outlines the history of PDA emergence and the corresponding state-of-the-art fabrication methodologies for effectively incorporating PDA to develop fire-retardant materials. Another important aspect of the work is to present recent case study results on using polydopamine coating on timber to induce fire retardancy. Ultimately, PDA-coated timber surface properties and fire retardancy mechanisms are discussed with their current and future applications. The pubblishers hope that their review can enhance the current knowledge regarding the development of fire-retardant timber coatings and reduce research gaps for this emerging technology.

The review has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 175, February 2023.

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