Novel Micronized Mica Modified Casein–Aluminum Hydroxide as Fire Retardant Coatings for Wood Products

Mezbah Uddin, Maitham Alabbad, Ling Li, Olli Orell, Essi Sarlin, Antti Haapala

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Sustainable coating solutions that function as a fire retardant for wood are still a challenging topic for the academic and industrial sectors. In this study, composite coatings of casein protein mixed with mica and aluminum trihydroxide (ATH) were tested as fire retardants for wood and plywood; coating degradation and fire retardancy performance were assessed with a cone calorimeter, and a thermogravimeter was used for the thermal stability measurement. The results indicated that casein–mica composites were beneficial as coatings. The heat release rate (HRR) and the total heat released (THR) of the sample coated with casein–mica composite were reduced by 55% and 37%, respectively; the time to ignition was increased by 27% compared to the untreated sample. However, the TTI of the sample coated with the casein–mica–ATH composite was increased by 156%; the PHR and THR were reduced by 31% and 28%, respectively. This is attributed to the yielded insulating surface layer, active catalytic sites, and the crosslink from mica and endothermic decomposition of ATH and casein producing different fragments which create multiple modes of action, leading to significant roles in suppressing fire spread. The multiple modes of action involved in the prepared composites are presented in detail. Coating wear resistance was investigated using a Taber Abrader, and adhesion interaction between wood and a coated composite were investigated by applying a pull-off test. While the addition of the three filler types to casein caused a decrease in the pull-off adhesion strength by up to 38%, their abrasion resistance was greatly increased by as much as 80%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number673
Number of pages15
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • composite coating
  • flame retardancy
  • thermal analysis
  • wear testing
  • wood

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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