Characterization of the fire behaviour of tropical wood species for use in the construction industry
Document typeConference report
PublisherTechnischen Universität Graz
Rights accessOpen Access
It is widely acknowledged that wood is a combustible and flammable material. However, not all woods have the same fire behaviour; this can change significantly depending on the type and species of wood. Usually, hardwoods have better fire behaviour in comparison with softwoods. This is often due to their physical structure (morphology), their density and hardness and also their moisture content. However, in some cases the main cause is their chemical composition. Some tropical woods with relatively low density present better fire behaviour than other with high density. This indicates that other aspects such as the content of extracts, exudates (oils, waxes, mucilage, tannins etc.) and minerals can greatly influence their fire performance. In this study, seven Mexican tropical wood were characterized in order to determine their fire behaviour. For this purpose, an extensive series of laboratory tests were conducted. The results show a different behaviour in all the species studied, in some cases, with very significant differences. It is observed that although there is some correlation between high density and hardness of the species and their good fire behaviour, these factors are not always determinant. In some species, other factors as anatomy and composition of wood are more relevant to achieve a better fire behaviour.
CitationLacasta, A.M, Haurie, L., Monton, J., Navarro Ezquerra, A., Giraldo, P., Sotomayor, J., Palumbo, M. Characterization of the fire behaviour of tropical wood species for use in the construction industry. A: World Conference on Timber Engineering. "WCTE 2016 : World Conference on Timber Engineering : August 22-25, 2016, Vienna, Austria : e-book". Viena: Technischen Universität Graz, 2016, p. 5387-5395.