New Fire-Retardant Coating Developed
Researchers out of the VTT Technical Researcher Center of Finland Ltd. recently announced that they have developed a highly fire-retardant coating from nanocellulose. The goal is for the coating to improve properties in wood-based materials.
The research used High-Consistency Enzymatic Fibrillation of Cellulose (HefCel) technology, a technique developed and patented by VTT, which enables the production of nanocellulose form wood-based pulp.
Researchers say the solids content of the HefCel material is 10x the solids content achieved with traditional manufacturing methods, which makes it well-suited for uses in which low water content is preferred (such as in paints, coatings, packaging and composites).
“Nanocellulose has a natural tendency to adhere to wood and to form an airtight film on the surface of wood and various other small particles such as pigments,” according to VTT.
“This makes nanocellulose-based coatings highly suitable for the protective treatment of wood surfaces. Combining HefCel nanocellulose with organic pigments forms a spray- or brush-applied, airtight film that prevents the access of oxygen through the coating and at the same time significantly inhibits combustion.”
In short: the coating reduces the access of oxygen to the surface, inhibiting combustion.
The idea was developed by VTT research scientists Vesa Kunnari and Jaakko Pere as part of the Design Driven Value Chains in the World of Cellulose (DWoC) project funded by Tekes (now Business Finland).
VTT is now seeking a partner to commercialize the technology.