Fire Retardants

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fire Retardants


substances or mixtures protecting wood, textiles, and other materials of organic origin from ignition or spontaneous combustion. The protective action of fire retardants is a result of several factors. They have a low melting point and form an airtight film that bars oxygen from the protected material. They decompose under heat and produce inert gases or vapors which hinder the ignition of gaseous products formed by the decomposition of the protected material. They absorb large quantities of heat during the melting, evaporation, and dissociation of the antioxidant, thus preventing the treated material from reaching its own decomposition temperature. They increase carbon formation by the treated materials during decomposition by generating acids.

The most widely used fire retardants are ammonium phosphates (diammonium phosphate, monoammonium phosphate and mixtures of the two), ammonium sulphate, borax, and boric acid; ammonium chloride and zinc chloride are used less often for this purpose.

Materials are made fire-retardant by deep permeation with aqueous solutions (50–66 kg of anhydrous salt per cubic meter of wood) and then drying. In addition, fire-retardant coatings are applied to surfaces in the form of solutions (DSK-P, made of diammonium phosphate, ammonium sulphate, and a kerosene catalyst; PPL, based on potash and a kerosene catalyst; and others), paints (FAM, a furfural-acetone blend with an admixture of ureaformaldehyde resin; PCVO, based on chlorinated polyvinyl chloride resin; and MCS, an oil paint with chloroparaffin and other components), and caulking compounds (made from superphosphate, clay and limestone, and so on). Those parts of equipment subject to outdoor exposure are further treated with weatherproof fire-retardant paint.


Zashchita dereviannykh konstruktsii ot vozgoraniia. Moscow, 1958.
Taubkin, S. I. Osnovy ognezashchity tselliuloznykh materialov. Moscow, 1960.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
21 March 2019 - Missouri, US-based fire retardants, foams, and water enhancing gels producer Perimeter Solutions has completed the purchase of a group of companies in Post Falls, Idaho, including First Response Fire Rescue, River City Fabrication and H and S Transport, the company said.
Our research work deals with the betterment of the fire retardant properties of jute polypropylene composite by using different percentage of nonhalogenated fire retardants such as MgO, [Al.sub.2][O.sub.3], and [H.sub.3]P[O.sub.4].
IVF patients should avoid exposure to fire retardants used in sofas, car seats and gym mats, a study found.
One of these is combinations of fire retardants and preservatives that may be beneficial in improving performance of wood against both fire and decay (Terzi et al.
The Martinswerk acquisition builds on Huber's 34 year history of supplying fire retardants and smoke suppressants.
So check to see if the carpet is labeled as complying with CA Bulletin 117; that's the 2000 California fire-retardant standard (turns out it was a bad idea) that mandated fire retardants be used in a wide range of household items -- and they were generally PBDEs.
There are distinct types of physical mechanisms that come into play when fire retardants are deployed.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found that adding carbon nanofibres to the polyurethane foams can reduce flammability by about 35 percent when compared to foam infused with conventional fire retardants.
As you noted, fire retardants known as PBDEs were banned in 2003, but you neglected to mention that other equally dangerous substitutes have replaced them ("From Pouches to Couches," EarthTalk, March/April 2008).
Geological Survey's Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, found long-term fire retardants to be "very toxic to aquatic organisms including algae, aquatic invertebrates and fish." The study also said that fire-fighting chemicals "could cause substantial fish kills depending on the stream size and flow rate."
Published earlier this year by the environmental group, "Killer Couches: Protecting Infants & Children from Toxic Exposure" reports that a high percentage of household furniture in California contain halogenated fire retardants which are toxic to humans and animals.
In 28 papers selected from presentations at an August 2004 symposium in Philadelphia, chemists consider fire science from a polymer perspective, covering nanocomposites, specific fire retardants, specific polymers, modeling and toxicity, and new high-temperature polymers.