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0011 Fire resistance

Myth:
Buildings made of wood have a high probability of catching fire, since wood is very flammable.
Reality:
Have you ever tried setting light to a tree trunk?
Wood is mainly made up of cellulose and lignin, which is made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. These components make it combustible. However, solid wood does not burn fast and it is rarely the first material to catch fire. To be specific, without a flame, wood needs a surface temperature above 400ºC to catch fire in a short period of time. With a flame, there needs to be a surface temperature of around 270ºC- 300ºC for a certain time before it catches fire. Even though wood is an inflammable material at relatively low temperatures, it is fire-resistant. Therefore, wood complies with the Technical Code for Construction in Fire Safety in the following way:
  • It protects itself from fire by means of pyrolysis: the carbonised layer which forms on the surfaces exposed to the fire is 6 times more insulating than the wood itself. In this way, the inner part of the wood remains cold and its physical and mechanical properties are unaltered.
  • Protecting it with layers of other materials as insulation or sheets of plaster As for the visible wood part, there are also special fire-resistant varnishes.
Conclusion:

Thanks to the low thermal conductivity  wood has, structures which have been correctly designed with the right dimensions perform better and are more fire-resistant.

Just like any construction material, wood complies with the law and regulations on fire safety.

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