Aim: The aim of the article was to present the results of a study on the influence of high temperatures on the compressive strength of pine timber treated with the flame retardant containing SiO2 particles. Nowadays, this type of retardant is used more and more frequently for the purposes of wooden elements protection.

Methodology: Samples for strength investigations with dimensions of 40x40x60 mm3 were divided into two groups. Some of the samples were impregnated with the use of the method of aqueous dispersion of SiO2 nanoparticles in 10-20 nm range. Samples were immersed in the liquid and placed in a vacuum chamber for 20 min. at about 0.7 atm. Then, the impregnated and non-impregnated samples were stored for 10 days at room temperature. The impregnated and non-impregnated samples were photographed with the use of SEM microscope. Before the strength tests, the samples were heated. The main instrument of the heating test equipment used to heat the samples was an average-temperature chamber furnace – type PK 1100/5. The temperature in the furnace was controlled by PSP 1 programmer together with a measuring computer and ThermoPro software. The samples were heated up to 250oC and stored in such temperature for 10 or 20 minutes. Afterwards, the samples were cooled down to the room temperature. Strength tests have been conducted with the use of Zwick/Roell Z100 universal testing machine with crosshead speed of 2 mm/min.

Results: The research subject is closely related to the safety of wood constructions under high temperatures as well as the possibility of the usage of modern flame retardants containing nanoparticles. Based on the conducted studies, it may be said that the fast degradation of wood structure occurs in the temperature range from 220 oC to 250oC. Degradation process of wood is faster in the top layer than in lower layers due to e.g. high thermal insulation of wood. Timber treatment with silica-based fire retardants has a significant impact on compressive strength. In each temperature interval the strength of non-treated timber has been higher than in case of treated timber.

Conclusions: Treatment with the aqueous dispersion of SiO2 particles influences on the decrease of compressive strength of timber. To sum up, it should be stated that treatment with silica-based flame retardants has negative influence on the strength of wood under compression. The presented studies do not show positive influence of flame retardant treatment on compressive strength of timber after high temperatures exposure.

Keywords: pine timber, strength, flame retardant

Type of article: original scientific article