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Cellulose-fiber-based insulation materials with improved reaction-to-fire properties
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2272-5067
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7055-1057
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology.
2017 (English)In: Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal, ISSN 0283-2631, E-ISSN 2000-0669, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 466-472Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

The poor reaction-to-fire properties of cellulosic thermal insulation need to be improved to meet the safety regulations for building materials. In this study, cellulose-fiber-based insulation foams were prepared from formulations containing mechanical pulp and commercial fire retardants. Results of single-flame source tests showed that foams developed from the formulations with 20% expandable graphite (EG) or 25% synergetic (SY) fire retardants had substantially improved reaction-to-fire properties, and passed fire class E according to EN 13501-1. The results indicated that the foams could resist a small flame attack without serious flame spreading over a short period of time. Compared with the reference foam that contained no fire retardant, the peak heat release rate of the 20% EG and 25% SY foams decreased by 62% and 39% respectively when the samples were subjected to a radiance heat flux of 25 kW m-2 in a cone calorimeter, which suggested enhanced reaction-to-fire properties of these foams.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 32, no 3, p. 466-472
Keywords [en]
cellulose, reaction-to-fire properties, thermal insulation
National Category
Wood Science Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology
Research subject
Fibre and Polymer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-205581DOI: 10.3183/NPPRJ-2017-32-03-p466-472OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-205581DiVA, id: diva2:1089279
Projects
Energy-efficient cellulosic insulation products/panels for green building solutions
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

QCR 20170424

Available from: 2017-04-19 Created: 2017-04-19 Last updated: 2018-08-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Cellulose-fiber-based thermal insulation materials with fungal resistance, improved water resistance and reaction-to-fire properties
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cellulose-fiber-based thermal insulation materials with fungal resistance, improved water resistance and reaction-to-fire properties
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Thermal insulation materials made from natural fibrous materials, such as cellulose fibers, have advantages over others from a sustainability point of view. However, cellulosic materials are generally prone to mold and absorb moisture, and these have negative effects on the insulation properties, the durability of insulation materials, and interior air quality. In this thesis, cellulose-fiber-based insulation foams were prepared from bleached chemithermomechanical softwood pulp, and these foams showed promising thermal insulation properties and fungal resistance. Hydrophobic extractives were isolated from birch (Betula verrucosa) outer bark and used to improve the water resistance of the foams, which were impregnated in solutions of extractives and then dried. The modified foams showed greater water resistance, and the modification had no negative effects on the thermal insulation, fungal resistance, and compressive strength of the foams.

Another potential problem with low density cellulosic thermal insulation materials is their poor reaction-to-fire properties. Cellulose-fiber-based insulation foams were prepared from formulations containing bleached chemithermomechanical softwood pulp and commercial fire retardants to improve the reaction of the foams to fire. Single-flame source test results showed that the foams containing 20% expandable graphite (20% EG) or 25% synergetic (25% SY) fire retardant had significantly improved reaction-to-fire properties and passed class E, which reflected that they can resist a small flame attack without substantial flame spreading for a short period according to EN 13501-1. Compared with the reference without any fire retardant, the peak heat release rate (Peak-HRR) of the 20% EG and 25% SY decreased by 62% and 39% respectively when the samples were subjected to a radiance heat flow of 25 kW m-2 in a Cone Calorimeter.

The thesis demonstrates that it is possible to produce cellulose-fiber-based insulation materials with improved properties in terms of fungal, improved water resistance and reaction-to-fire properties.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. p. 37
Series
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2017:19
Keywords
biorefinery, birch bark, cellulose, reaction-to-fire properties, fungal resistance, thermal insulation, water resistance
National Category
Wood Science Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology
Research subject
Fibre and Polymer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-205608 (URN)978-91-7729-330-9 (ISBN)
Presentation
2017-05-24, Rånbyrummet, Teknikringen 56, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Energy-efficient cellulosic insulation products/panels for green building solutions
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

QC 20170428

Available from: 2017-04-28 Created: 2017-04-25 Last updated: 2017-04-28Bibliographically approved
2. Cellulosic Thermal Insulation with Improved Water Resistance and Fire Retardancy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cellulosic Thermal Insulation with Improved Water Resistance and Fire Retardancy
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sweden is one of the largest countries by area in Europe, and almost 70% of it is covered by forest. These abundant forest resources benefit the Swedish bioeconomy, but the pulp and paper industry is facing the challenge of a decrease in the demand for printing paper due to a significant shift to electronic media; therefore, it is a priority to use pulp to produce alternative value-added products, such as thermal insulating materials in buildings. Cellulosic thermal insulation can reduce the heating energy consumption of buildings, and decrease the emission of CO2, thus contributing to a sustainable society.

However, cellulosic thermal insulation needs to overcome its poor water resistance, to lower the risk of fungi and ensure a good interior air quality. In the work described in this thesis, cellulosic insulation materials have been produced from pulp fibers, water, and foaming agent by a foam-forming technique. Hydrophobic extractives isolated from birch outer bark were used to functionalize the insulating materials. These materials showed an improved water resistance due to the intrinsic non-polarity of the extractives, promising thermal insulation properties and fungal resistance.

Fire retardancy is another challenge for cellulosic thermal insulation, and cellulosic insulation materials were here prepared from formulations containing pulp and commercial fire retardants. Fire test results showed that the materials containing 20% expandable graphite or 25% synergetic fire retardant had a significantly improved fire retardancy, being able to resist a small flame attack for a short period without substantial flame spreading. A study of the mechanism of fire retardancy confirmed that the fire retardants can catalyze the dehydration of pulp and promote the generation of a protective char layer that prevents the materials from further decomposition.

Bio-based fire-retardant coatings such as sulfonated kraft lignin and nanoclay can provide a more efficient fire-retardant protection on the cellulosic insulation than a fire retardant incorporated in the materials. A nanoclay coating performed the best because of its very good thermal stability. The effective bio-based fire-retardant coating is promising for future use in cellulosic thermal insulation materials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. p. 59
Series
TRITA-CBH-FOU ; 2018:29
Keywords
Bio-based, Cellulosic, Fire retardant, Thermal insulation
National Category
Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology Wood Science
Research subject
Fibre and Polymer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-233516 (URN)978-91-7729-864-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-09-14, K1, Teknikringen 56, KTH Campus, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Energy-efficient cellulosic insulation products/panels for green building solutions
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

QC 20180821

Available from: 2018-08-21 Created: 2018-08-21 Last updated: 2018-08-21Bibliographically approved

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