Wood is a sustainable building material, as it is derived from a renewable source and has low embodied energy when compared with most other structural materials. According to a number of life cycle assessment comparisons, a timber-built house consumes fewer natural resources and causes less environmental impact than a similar house built from competing building materials.
Wood is not only the most commonly used structural building material in the world, it is also the only carbon neutral construction material. The use of wood in construction minimizes the generation of solid waste, lessens the impact on air and water quality and reduces the generation of greenhouse gases. At the end of their life cycle, wood products can be used for wood energy or be disposed of without problems.
However, wood is flammable and needs to comply with the requirements as stated in national and international building legislations. Use of wood can be restricted by safety requirements and regulations concerned with its ignitability and fire spreading characteristics. By adding the right Fire Retardant additives to wood based materials during manufacturing or after installation, it’s possible that these green building materials comply with even the most stringent fire standards.
With the increasing emphasis on safety that has been introduced in new building regulations across Europe, the use of fire retardant treated wood is required in new specifications where it was previously not obligatory. The use of fire retardant treated wood as exterior cladding material in multi store buildings, where the spread of fire is a major concern, is already an accepted building standard. In exterior cladding, high weather resistance and durability of fire retardant treated wood is crucial. Another potential area is wood in structural elements of buildings. Stables but also an increasing number of buildings have wooden frames as they have many advantages over other building types.
Materials are treated with fire retardant chemicals either by impregnating the materials using vacuum and pressure techniques, spray applications, incorporating the chemicals in composite wood and paper products during the manufacturing processes or by applying fire retardant surface coatings.
Magma developed a range fire retardant additives like dry powders and concentrated liquids to allow solid wood, veneers and board materials like plywood, particle board & MDF to meet the requirements as stated in International building legislations. Magma is a specialist provider of fire retardant solutions in these markets and has a comprehensive list of approvals and test reports on a large number of different wood based materials.
In addition to the supply of Fire Retardant additives for industrial applications, Magma supplies products for vacuum pressure treatments of wood and impregnation liquids and coatings for treatment of materials in existing structures.
The most typical end uses for Fire Retardant treated wood are:
- Internal wall and ceiling linings
- External cladding/facades
- Roof constructions
- Roofing shingles
- Transportation – railway carriages, buses, maritime
- Wooden scaffolding for both offshore and onshore
- Military, e.g. packing cases
- Exhibition stands
- TV and theatre scenery