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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Durability and Wood Protection Research

Project Title :  Improving fire safety of forest products and wood-based structures to address our changing environmental and society needs for personal safety a
Project Number : FPL-4723-2
Start Date : 07-23-2007
End Date : 07-23-2012

View the 32 publications associated with this project.

Principal Investigator:
Carol A. Clausen

Non Technical Summary
PhotoAs potential uses of small-diameter trees, structural wood composite products contribute to the Forest Service goal of hazardous fuel reductions. The use of these products in wood construction has been rapidly increasing. Work in this problem area is intended to address important fire safety issues that could adversely affect potential markets for these products that improve the economics of fuel reductions programs. Many new and innovative forest products, being developed to maximize utilization of our natural resources, are used as panel products and in other applications in which they may be involved in a fire. To insure that there is adequate time for people to escape a building and the fire department to respond to a fire, the contribution of building materials to fire growth within a building is a concern. With continued increased urbanization of the countryside and high incidences of forest fires, fire safety of our homes in the wild-land urban interface (WUI) is a major problem nationwide. The number of homes simultaneously involved in a single WUI fire makes the survival of any one structure largely dependent on prior efforts of the homeowner to improve the survivability of their own home via local vegetation control and proper building construction. Our goal is to reduce the fire hazards in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) by improving the quality and flexibility of fire safety recommendations for wood structures.

Objectives Summary
The objectives of this problem are to develop fire performance and fire growth models, characterize fire performance of adhesives for structural applications, develop methods for post-fire evaluation of structural wood members, assess relative flammability of vegetation, and investigate measures to protect structures during a fire.

Approach Summary
We will develop improved fire resistance models for engineered wood products such as trusses, I-joists, and composite lumber products and fire growth models for assessing fire propagation within a structure. Methods will be assessed for post-fire evaluation of structural wood members damaged by exposure to elevated temperatures. Fire safety research will evaluate the relative flammability of new and existing forest products, ornamental vegetation, and invasive species. Fire performance of adhesive for structural applications will be characterized.

Publications associated with this Project

Publication YearTitleDate Posted
2008Analytical Methods for Determining Fire Resistance of Timber Members04/27/09
2013Chapter 6: Thermal properties, combustion, and fire retardancy of wood10/02/12
2011Coir Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Composite Panel for Automotive Interior Applications11/16/11
2012Cone Calorimeter Analysis of FRT Intumescent and Untreated Foam Core Particleboards09/04/12
2012Cone calorimeter evaluation of two flame retardant cotton fabrics10/01/12
2012Cone Calorimeter evaluation of untreated and FRT wood composites for floor applications09/04/12
2007Cone calorimeter tests of wood-based decking materials10/15/10
2007Cone calorimeter tests of wood-based decking materials10/15/10
2012Effect of boron and phosphate compounds on physical, mechanical, and fire properties of wood-polypropylene composites04/25/12
2011Effect of Boron and Phosphate compounds on Thermal and Fire Properties of wood/HDPE composites03/26/12
2011Effect of boron compounds on physical, mechanical, and fire properties of injection molded wood plastic composites03/13/12
2010Effect of Fire Retardants on Heat Release Rate of Wood Flour-Polyethylene Composites05/17/10
2012Effects of fire retardants on physical, mechanical, and fire properties of flat-pressed WPCs01/27/12
2010Evaluation of various fire retardants for use in wood flour-polyethylene composites08/16/10
2011Fire performance and decay resistance of solid wood and plywood treated with quaternary ammonia compounds and common fire retardants02/17/11
2009Fire Resistance of Wood Members with Directly Applied Protection02/09/10
2008Fire-retardant-treated strandboard : properties and fire performance10/15/10
2011Flammability studies of impregnated paper sheets09/12/11
2010Ignition and flame-growth modelling on realistic building and landscape objects in changing environments01/10/11
2008IV-A Aspen Flakeboard Treated with Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate10/15/10
2009IV-C Accelerated weathering of fire-retardant-treated wood for fire testing10/06/09
2011Modeling Integrated Biomass Gasification Business Concepts07/29/11
2011Properties of Flat-Pressed Wood Plastic Composites Containing Fire Retardants11/08/11
2012Pyrolysis kinetics and combustion of thin wood by an advanced cone caorimetry test method08/02/12
2011Pyrolysis Kinetics and Combustion of Thin Wood Using Advanced Cone Calorimetry Test Method09/07/11
2012Reaction-to-Fire of Wood Products and Other Building Materials: Part 1, Room/Corner Test Performance05/10/12
2011Recent activities in flame retardancy of wood-plastic composites at the Forest Products Laboratory10/23/11
2010Ten decades of flame retardancy testing at the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory06/06/11
2011Using modified cone calorimeter to determine heat/moisture transport properties and pyrolysis/combustion properties of wood-based materials for use in CFD models03/21/11
2007Vision of the U.S. biofuel future: a case for hydrogen-enriched biomass gasification10/15/10
2010Wood Handbook, Chapter 18: Fire Safety of Wood Construction06/21/10

Project Summaries last modified: 12-07-2012