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Solid wood as a renewable raw material is increasingly used in the construction industry. Due to lower costs and faster construction, solid wood construction has gained enormous popularity in the last ten years. One of the biggest challenges is to be able to comply with the relevant regulations in terms of fire protection, as untreated wood is highly flammable and burns well. Therefore, in order to protect the interior of buildings from fires, fire-retardant boards have had to be installed or the wood has had to be coated with colour-like coatings that hide the natural grain of the wood.

A new invisible coating developed by Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU) allows the natural texture and beauty of wood to shine, yet is said to form a flame barrier when “activated” by a fire. The coating is said to be cost-effective, easy to apply, effective in preventing the spread of fire and produces little smoke when burnt. The innovation was filed for technology disclosure by NTUitive, NTU’s innovation and enterprise company; the commercialisation project was funded with S$250,000 from the NTUitive Gap Fund. Licensing discussions were currently being held with various companies, he said.

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