F.A.A. paper on fire-resistant geopolymer application

Dr. R. Lyon from Federal Aviation Administration, USA and Dr. P. Balaguru from Rutgers University, NJ, USA, have published a new paper involving the use of a geopolymer coating on light balsa wood, for aircraft application. The title of the paper:

Use of Inorganic Polymer to Improve the Fire Response of Balsa Sandwich Structures
J. Mat. in Civ. Engrg., Volume 18, Issue 3, pp. 390-397 (May/June 2006)
James Giancaspro, M.ASCE; P. N. Balaguru, M.ASCE; and Richard E. Lyon

The study presented in this paper deals with the fire performance of balsa sandwich panels made using inorganic Geopolymer resin and high-strength fiber facings. A thin layer of a fire-resistant paste composed of Geopolymer and hollow glass microspheres was applied to the facings to serve as a protective fire barrier and to improve the fire resistance of the sandwich panels. Using 17 sandwich panel specimens, the primary objective of this program was to establish the minimum amount of fireproofing necessary to satisfy the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements for heat and smoke release. The influence of this fireproofing insulation on the increase in mass of the panels was also evaluated. The system is simple and inexpensive to manufacture, and a 1.8-mm-thick layer of fireproofing satisfies the FAA requirements for both heat release and smoke emission.

The link to the publication