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CHEMCO Passes Stringent Japanese Burn Test

January 1, 2002
Ferndale, WA

CHEMCO, the world leader in fire retardant treatment for cedar, is thrilled to announce that it has successfully passed Japan's strict burn test of its fire retardant Western Red Cedar siding, used in new home construction. The outcome of the Ministry of Construction's assessment significantly enhances the potential of this market to the company, with CHEMCO now becoming qualified to supply wood to the Japanese construction industry for high fire risk applications.

"The Japanese, due to the close proximity of living space in the densely populated cities, are very concerned with fire safety and the threat of spreading fire," said John Gibb, President, CHEMCO. "In Japanese culture, there is high regard for properties of nature, and the use of natural materials in building, as they use the examples of life and nature as inspiration for their architecture. Wood has always been a desired material, and now has become a safer one."

The test, called the Standard of Construction 2.8, is an endurance test designed to determine whether treated siding can still hold their fire-retardant qualities under extreme, real-life conditions. The treated siding is mounted on a 2 x 3 meter wall assembly, and subjected to three (3) metric tons of pressure, simulating the weight of a multi-story building. It is then exposed to open flame for 30 minutes, with temperatures up to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit. Test administrators are looking for total structure collapse and fire and heat penetration. CHEMCO's treated siding passed the test with no collapse or penetration.

Cedar siding treated by CHEMCO is required to be Number 1 Grade. The siding is placed in a high-pressure vacuum chamber where air and moisture are withdrawn from the wood. The chamber is then flooded with fire-retardant chemical and pressurized to 130-150 psi. The pressure is maintained anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours, depending on the wood's thickness and moisture content. Upon completion of impregnation in the vacuum chamber, the materials are placed in a dry kiln, where they are cured at temperatures up to 180F for three to seven days. At that point, the treatment process is complete and the materials are packaged and made ready for shipment and application.


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