A clever new product gives pine a BAL 29 rating, marrying all the advantages of sustainable radiata to fire resistance.

Innovative Timber Ideas (ITI) has recently launched FLAMEfixxdFx onto the Australian market. A highly innovative product, it’s the first durable wood solution that gives radiata pine bushfire protection up to BAL 29 and was developed in response to the growing risk of high-danger fire seasons.

Using vacuum/pressure impregnation, FLAMEfixx brings a unique process to radiata pine treatment that combines industry-leading fire-retardant technology with protection (to H3) against fungal decay and termite attack.

It was developed by ITI in partnership with New Zealand’s Wood Modification Technologies (WMT), and is protected by global patents, the result of years of research, testing and review.

“We’re really excited about FLAMEfixx,” says Craig Davies, NSW manager at ITI. “There’s nothing like it on the market and builders are keen to get their hands on it – all the benefits of radiata with BAL 29!”

Davies adds, “FLAMEfixx is not a coating; it’s a solution that’s impregnated into the wood substrate under a pressure and vacuum process that treats the entire timber, so it doesn’t matter where you cut or machine the product. The impregnated flame retardant is an inorganic metal oxide with no carbon present, thereby reducing any smoke generated to virtually zero.

“We know that smoke inhalation is a leading cause of bushfire fatalities, so anything that can address that hazard is a welcome advance.”

FLAMEfixx meets the health, safety and environmental requirements for currently approved wood preservatives. The timber is safe for use in high-contact areas including decking, housing and playgrounds, and can be disposed of in the same manner as traditional copper-treated timbers.

The timber can be oiled, stained or otherwise coated, just as for natural pine product, and a coating is recommended to maintain the finish and protect the timber from water damage.

There is a wide range of potential applications for FLAMEfixx in the future. Currently it’s available in decking and screening products, which will be followed by structural joists and bearers, then weatherboards.

Test results exceed the requirements set out in the Australian Standards (AS3959-2009) for BAL 29 conditions and testing is currently being conducted for the higher BAL 40 rating.

The FLAMEfixx decking product also meets the stringent requirements of the NSW RFS Planning for Bushfire Protection arrangements for external structures in BAL 12.5, BAL 19 and BAL 29 areas

FLAMEfixx is already on the market in NSW and is being progressively rolled out across the country.

For more, or to view the video on the technology’s development, visit www.flamefixx.com.au