Posted on 11/06/2020 in Building & Construction Fire Safety 2020
Zinc – wood nanocrystals

Zinc oxide coated cellulose nanocrystals, sourced from wood, were tested in 4mm HDPE sheets. Zinc oxide is widely used in for example sunscreens. The zinc oxide (50%) – cellulose (50%) nano-particles were ground to a particle size < 44 µm, then screw extruded into HDPE (high density polyethylene). At 0.6% loading, peak heat re-lease rate was reduced by 17%, total smoke release was reduced by 6% and mechanical properties (elasticity, strength) were marginally improved (compared to neat HDPE). However, at 1% loading fire and mechanical performance were not as good as at 0.6%: the authors suggest that this is because of uneven dispersion during processing. The Montana State University has been granted a NIST grant of US$ 220 000 for further work.

“MSU researcher advancing ways to make fire-resistant plastics using wood product”, 4th March 2020
“Functionalized Cellulose Nanocrystals: A Potential Fire Retardant for Pol-ymer Composites”, Polymers 2019, 11, 1361,

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