Bulletproof wood now also fire resistant

The flame retardant effect is generated by the formation of a layer of charcoal on the surface of the wood subjected to fire. [Image: Wentao Gan et al. - 10.1002 / adfm.201807444]

Anti-fire wood

The creators of bulletproof wood have taken yet another surprising step to make wood a competitor to the height of synthetic materials.

Wentao Gan and his colleagues at the University of Maryland, USA, have concluded that their superdurated wood is extremely fire-resistant.

They have discovered how to use a chemical compound to soften the wood, allowing it to be compressed, removing the spaces between the cell walls.

When subjected to fire, this compressed wood forms a protective layer of coal on its surface, which prevents fire from spreading and preserves the internal structural integrity of the wood.

In other words, in addition to not burning readily, the wood structure does not collapse, as occurs with ordinary wood constructions.

The effects of the treatment are dramatic in terms of resistance to burning. [Image: Wentao Gan et al. - 10.1002 / adfm.201807444]

Fire-resistant wood

There are already techniques to make the wood more resistant to fire by means of chemical treatments. But these techniques are expensive and far from being environmentally friendly, as they involve injection into the wood of halogenated flame retardants or coatings of inorganic nanoparticles. Also, the wood does not get strong enough.

The treatment to make fire-resistant wood is virtually the same as used to make the superdurated wood presented by the team last year.

In tests, the ignition timing of the wood doubled, while its heat release was reduced by more than a third.


 Dense, Self-Formed Char Layer Enables a Fire-Retardant Wood Structural Material

Wentao Gan, Chaoji Chen, Zhengyang Wang, Jianwei Song, Yudi Kuang, Shuaiming He, Ruiyu Mi, Peter B. Sunderland, Liangbing Hu
 Advanced Functional Materials 
 DOI: 10.1002 / adfm.201807444

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