Fire performance and decay resistance of solid wood and plywood treated with quaternary ammonia compounds and common fire retardants

Terzi E., Kartal S. N., White R. H., Shinoda K., Imamura Y.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF WOOD AND WOOD PRODUCTS, vol.69, no.1, pp.41-51, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


In this study, the fire performance and decay resistance of solid wood and plywood treated with quaternary ammonia compounds (didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC) and didecyl dimethyl ammonium tetrafluoroborate (DBF)) were compared with the performance of untreated control specimens and specimens treated with common fire retardants ((monoammonium phosphate (MAP), diammonium phosphate (DAP) and ammonium sulphate (AS)). Test specimens were treated with 1% and 4% (% m/v) aqueous solutions of the chemicals. The fire performance tests were the fire tube test (ASTM E 69) which measures mass losses in the specimens and the cone calorimeter test (ASTM E 1354) which measures mass loss, heat release rate, time for sustained ignition, effective heat of combustion, and specific extinction area. The results from the cone calorimeter tests were used to estimate the flame spread index (FSI) in the Steiner tunnel test (ASTM E 84). Heat release rates of the specimens treated with MAP, DAP, and AS were lower than those of both DDAC and DBF-treated specimens and the untreated control specimens. Compared with the untreated specimens, higher heat release rates were observed for the specimens treated with the quaternary ammonia compounds, DDAC and DBF. The estimates for the FSI for DDAC and DBF were for values equal to or higher than for the untreated control specimens. At higher concentration levels, MAP, DAP and AS were effective in decreasing initial contribution of heat release to potential fire. Decay resistance tests were done according to AWPA E 10 standard method using one brown-rot fungus and one white rot-fungus. Decay resistance tests revealed that solid wood specimens treated with DDAC and DBF showed resistance against the fungi tested, however, MAP, DAP and AS did not provide complete protection. While DBF and DDAC increased resistance of plywood specimens, high mass losses in plywood specimens treated with MAP, DAP and AS were obtained.