Fire performance is one of the main obstacles to an increased use of wood in most countries. New European classification systems for fire performance have recently been agreed, but the national safety levels will remain, causing continued limitations in the use of wood products. In figures, fires in dwellings cause in Europe over 4.000 deaths and 80.000 diverse injuries per year. The cause of death is suffocation due to smoke in about two thirds of the cases, while burns result only in about one third of the fatalities.
When heated, wood burns by producing flammable volatiles that may ignite. To reduce flammability, wood is treated with flame retardants (FR) which drastically reduce the rate at which flames travel across the wood surface and reduce the amount of potential heat. However, some FR treatments may produce unwanted secondary side effects, such as increased moisture content, reduced strength and increased potential to corrode metal connectors. In order to prevent these side effects, fire retardant treatments may improve the fire performance of wood products considerably through reducing ignitability, rate of heat release and flame spread.
The main goal of the present project WOOD-FLARETCOAT is to solve the problem of producing improved flame retardant coatings for wood products, through the development of non-halogenated flame retardant systems based on inorganic flame retardant nanofillers (nano-magnesium hydroxide, huntite and hydromagnesite) functionalized with reactive oligomers (ROs) and incorporated into several waterborne polymeric matrices to constitute composites.
Based on that idea different coating formulations will be developed for wood materials for construction (both new buildings and restoration processes) and furniture, showing not only the target flame-retardancy but also some more additional properties, such as antibacterial activity, enhanced scratch resistance or photocatalytic effect.