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Prof. Hee Joon Park, Invents Korea’s First Non-Flammable Wood 

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hqiof (hqiof) 2011/12/22 11:47:05
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Prof. Hee Joon Park, Invents Korea’s First Non-Flammable Wood
 

The number of fire accidents per year in Korea is more than 40,000 and these fires directly affect nearly 2,000 people.

 

In 2006, there were roughly 30,000 fire accidents and that number increased to 47,000 the following year. Of these fire accidents, a quarter of them took place in residential premises or multi-purpose facilities, making them all the more life-threatening.

 

An eco-friendly timber that does not burn may provide a solution to reducing the number of human casualties and injuries in fire accidents. Prof. Hee Joon Park of the CBNU Residential Environmental Science department has invented Korea’s first non-flammable wood, which is expected to be resourceful during this winter when fire accidents are common.

 

Traditionally, wood can be treated to become non-flammable with a coat of flame-resistant varnish. This approach, however, has had drawbacks because it gets rid of the natural wood scent, obscures distinct wood grain patterns and textures, prevents temperature and humidity adjustment, and becomes unsuitable for proper disposal.

 

Prof. Park, on the other hand, discovered a way to inject natural resins such as phosphate of ammonium into pieces of timber to create a truly non-combustible wood.


  

 

On the morning of December 8th, the effectiveness of this new invention was legitimized in a live experiment where an ordinary piece of wood was completely dissolved when lit on fire for 20 minutes while the newly invented timber did not burn at all aside from some soot.

 

The new invention preserves the smell, texture, ability to adjust to temperature and humidity, natural colors and grains, without being susceptible to deformations, splits, contractions and expansions. This innovation is expected to have a big impact in the wood construction field.

 

This type of material will have applications in wood-framed houses, construction of cultural monuments, Hanok houses and even furniture constructed from wood and interior materials that are especially vulnerable to fire accidents.

 

Already having been patented and awarded ISO international certification (KS F ISO 5660-1, KS F 2271), this new type of timber is currently awaiting commercial implementations from abroad.

 

Prof. Park said, “The new invention is eco-friendly and will be used in wood-framed houses, cultural landmarks, wooden constructions and interior materials because it does not burn. I hope it will create a demand for applications of wood that were once considered illegal or unsuitable.”

 

 
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