Paper insulation is fireproof

Saturday, 19 April, 2003

You might think it sounds silly, but paper can be effectively used to provide very competent fireproofing in buildings, according to new research by civil engineers in Germany.

Wolfgang H Christ, one of the researchers working on the new cellulose insulation, says, "The particular advantage of my invention is that cheap cellulose recovered from waste paper is used as the fibre reinforcement. There are a number of inoffensive boron compounds which melt in contact with fire, forming a protective coating around the fibres. The incombustible mixture sinters and becomes even more solid, without causing any significant loss of the material's thermal insulation properties."

Patents in the new material have been granted in Europe and production should start soon.

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