Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (241 KB bytes)

Title: Chemical mechanism of fire retardance of boric acid on wood

Author: Wang, Qingwen; Li, Jian; Winandy, Jerrold E.;

Date: 2004

Source: Wood science and technology. Vol. 38 (2004): Pages 375-389

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: It is commonly accepted that the fire retardant mechanism of boric acid is a physical mechanism achieved by the formation of a coating or protective layer on the wood surface at high temperature. Although a char-forming catalytic mechanism has been proposed by some researchers, little direct experimental support has been provided for such a chemical mechanism. In this paper, new experimental results using thermal analysis, cone calorimetry (CONE), and gas chromatography–Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (GC–FTIR) analysis are presented and the fire retardant mechanism of boric acid on wood is discussed. Basswood was treated with boric acid, guanylurea phosphate (GUP), and GUP–boric acid. Treated wood was then analyzed by thermogravimetry (TG/DTG), differential thermal analysis (DTA), CONE, and GC–FTIR analysis. Thermogravimetry showed that the weight loss of basswood treated with boric acid was about three times that of untreated or GUP-treated wood at 165C, a temperature at which GUP is stable. The DTA curve showed that boric acid treated basswood has an exothermal peak at 420C, indicating the exothermal polymerization reaction of charring. CONE results showed that boric acid and GUP had a considerable synergistic fire retardant effect on wood. The GC–FTIR spectra indicated that compounds generated by boric acid treated wood are different than those generated by untreated wood. We conclude that boric acid catalyzes the dehydration and other oxygen-eliminating reactions of wood at a relatively low temperature (approximately 100–300C) and may catalyze the isomerization of the newly formed polymeric materials by forming aromatic structures. This contributes partly to the effects of boric acid on promoting the charring and fire retardation of wood. The mechanism of the strong fire retardant synergism between boric acid and GUP is due to the different fire retardant mechanisms of boric acid and GUP and the different activation temperatures of these two chemicals.

Keywords: Fire retardant mechanism, boric acid, basswood, guanylurea phosphate

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Wang, Qingwen; Li, Jian; Winandy, Jerrold E. 2004. Chemical mechanism of fire retardance of boric acid on wood. Wood science and technology. Vol. 38 (2004): Pages 375-389

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.