STP789

    Efficient Application of Boron Fire Retardant to Cellulosic Loose-Fill Insulation

    Published: Jan 1983


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    Abstract

    Different methods of applying boron fire-retardant chemicals were investigated for their effectiveness in improving the fire performance of cellulose insulation. Loose-fill insulation derived from newsprint was treated with boric acid/borax (1:1) applied as either a dry powder or an aqueous solution; vapor deposition treatment was also evaluated for applying boric acid. Insulation produced by direct conversion from wood chips was treated with an aqueous solution and by vapor deposition. Nominal fire retardant application levels of 10, 18, and 25 percent (based on newsprint or wood fiber weight) were employed.

    The aqueous method gave better flame-spread resistance than dry powder or vapor application. Wavelength dispersive spectroscopy showed more uniform distribution of fire retardant on the fiber surface and penetration into the fiber when applied by the aqueous method. Smoldering resistance showed little dependence on application method but did depend on fire retardant level, insulation density, and particle size. Thermal conductivity was independent of fire-retardant application method, fire retardant level, and insulation density. Overall, wood fiber and newsprint insulation gave very comparable results.

    Keywords:

    boric acid, borax, insulation, cellulosic insulation, newsprint, loose-fill insulation, fire-retardant treatment


    Author Information:

    Wegner, TH
    Forest Products Laboratory, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Madison, Wis.

    Holmes, CA
    Forest Products Laboratory, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Madison, Wis.


    Paper ID: STP29437S

    Committee/Subcommittee: C16.23

    DOI: 10.1520/STP29437S


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