Wood-plastic composites represent a growing class of materials used by the residential construction industry and the furniture industry. For some applications in these industries, the fire performance of the material must be known, and in some cases improved. However, the fire performance of wood-plastic composites is not well understood, and there is little information regarding the effectiveness of various fire retardants in the public domain. We used oxygen index and cone calorimeter tests to characterize the fire performance of wood flour-polyethylene composites, and compared the results with unfilled polyethylene and solid wood. We then evaluated the effect of five additive-type fire retardants on fire performance. Generally, magnesium hydroxide and ammonium polyphosphate improved the fire performance of WPCs the most while a bromine-based fire retardant and zinc borate improved fire performance the least.
Stark, Nicole M.; White, Robert H.; Mueller, Scott A.; Osswald, Tim A. 2010. Evaluation of various fire retardants for use in wood flour--polyethylene composites. Polymer Degradation and Stability. 95: 1903-1910.