Characterization and improvement of wood fire behavior

Wood is a material widely used in the construction sector, both in structural and non-structural applications.

Its behavior in case of fire depends on several characteristics. Density is one of the factors that influence the speed of the reaction of pyrolysis and, consequently, the rate of carbonization.

However, other characteristics of wood, such as mineral content, also exert an influence on its combustion. Hardwoods have a complex morphological structure and a significant amount of minerals, extracts and exudates. The reaction to the fire of different species of hardwood has been tested using different methods.

On the other hand, GICITED is working to improve the fire behavior of wood and its derivatives, by adding flame retardants by impregnation with autoclave of wooden pieces. The objective is to find new non-toxic products that improve the fire behavior of the wood without worsening its properties.


Main results of this line of research:

Haurie, L., Giraldo, M. P., Lacasta, A. M., Montón, J., & Sonnier, R. (2018). Influence of different parameters in the fire behaviour of seven hardwood species. Fire Safety Journal (on-line access, August 2018).

M.P. Giraldo, L.Haurie, J.Sotomayor, A.M. Lacasta, J. Montón, M. Palumbo, A. Navarro. Characterization of the fire behaviour of tropical wood species for use in the construction industry. In WCTE 2016: World Conference on Timber Engineering.

Tondi, G., Haurie, L., Wieland, S., Petutschnigg, A., Lacasta, A., & Monton, J. (2014). Comparison of disodium octaborate tetrahydrate‐based and tannin‐boron‐based formulations as fire retardant for wood structures. Fire and Materials, 38(3), 381-390.