The sights are set high for the product development of fire retardants for wood
Wilma Lindqvist is carrying out the work for her master’s thesis – the final stage of her studies in process chemistry – at Nordtreat. The goal of her thesis work is to develop better and more versatile fire-protection solutions for wood. Wilma is interested in the development of fire retardants for wood: because wood is a natural material, it should also be protected against fire with agents made from natural ingredients.
Sustainable development is a topic that interests Wilma Lindqvist and a goal she wants to promote. Before opting for process chemistry studies at Åbo Akademi University, she planned to study biology or social sciences but then she realised that she could also help build a better world by studying engineering.
THE GOAL IS TO EXPAND THE SELECTION OF HALOGEN-FREE FIRE RETARDANTS FOR WOOD
The product development of the next-generation fire retardants for wood consists of a mixture of theory and practical testing. The title of Wilma’s master’s thesis is “Non-halogenated opaque fire retardant coatings for wood surfaces”.
To begin with, Wilma is investigating the chemistry of fire protection for wood by looking into previous studies, theories and solutions that Nordtreat has already tested and brought to the market. Working with Nordtreat’s product development team, she aims to identify new components and combinations that can be used to fine-tune fire-retardant products’ fire protection properties to make them even more effective. The goal is to expand the selection of environmentally friendly fire retardants.
Wilma will test and analyse selected components and their impact on protective properties in a research laboratory operating in connection with Åbo Akademi. She is looking to identify substances that are safe to humans and the environment and that help improve fire retardants’ properties in terms of their fire-protection ability, eco-friendliness and cost-efficiency. These properties will be optimised by testing various substance combinations and contents.
Nordtreat wants to improve fire-protection solutions it has developed and patented and to make their properties even more versatile. Because of this, the tests carried out as part of the thesis work are designed to analyse issues such as how wood products’ ignition times can be made even longer and how the spreading of fire can be slowed down. This will help create a strong foundation for the development of new fire retardants.
CARRYING OUT THESIS WORK IN A RAPIDLY GROWING COMPANY IS REWARDING
Promoting the use of environmentally friendly wood in construction is an exciting goal for Wilma. Taking part in a concrete research and development project offers her a suitable level of challenge.
Support offered by Nordtreat’s key team is also important. Even though Nordtreat is a rapidly growing company, she can always ask her colleagues for advice and tips on which direction to take the project. Wilma is happy to know that her work has meaning: through her contribution, she can participate in the development of halogen-free fire retardants for wood. The development of fire retardants in a rapidly growing company is exciting and rewarding and Wilma may continue in the field even after completing her thesis.
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