Passive Fire Protection of Taeda pine Wood by Using Starch-Based Surface Coatings

Svetlana Tretsiakova-McNally, Adeline Le Douarin, Paul Joseph, Malavika Arun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present paper reports the preliminary results relating to the development, subsequent application, and testing of environmentally benign starch-based formulations for passive fire protection of wood substrates. This study evaluated the effectiveness of starch colloid coatings applied onto the wood surface with a view to improving its performance when exposed to the external heat flux (35 kW/m2) during cone calorimetric tests. The formulations were prepared from aqueous colloid solutions of either starch alone, or in combination with inorganic salts, such as: sodium carbonate, Na2CO3, potassium carbonate, K2CO3, and diammonium hydrogen phosphate, (NH4)2HPO4. The fire performance of Taeda pine wood samples, where their top surfaces were treated with these formulations, was compared with the control sample. The thermal and combustion characteristics of the tested samples were determined with the aid of thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), bomb and cone calorimetric techniques, and a steady state tube furnace coupled to an FT-IR spectrometer. A significant boost of fire protection was observed when starch formulations with added inorganic salts were applied onto the wood surfaces, compared with the control sample. For example, the presence of K2CO3 in starch colloid solutions resulted in a notable delay of the ignition and exhibited a reduction in the heat release parameters in comparison with the untreated wood substrate.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3841
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number21
Early online date6 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Nov 2021


  • wood substrates
  • starch-based colloids
  • surface coatings
  • combustion attributes
  • passive fire protection


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