Who We Are

The WMT’s dFx® technology

WHO WE ARE

Launched two years ago in Australia, FLAMEfixx dFx® H3 Treated Pine is the first and only durable wood solution for bushfire protection up to BAL-29.

FLAMEfixx dFx® is a globally patented process for the treatment of sustainably grown radiata pine that combines industry-leading fire-retardant technology (Fx) with protection to H3 against fungal decay and insect (termite) attack.

The dFx® working solution is impregnated into the wood substrate under a pressure and vacuum process that treats the timber.

FLAMEfixx dFx® development has continued, led by ITI in partnership with New Zealand’s Wood Modification Technologies (WMT), inventor of the dFx® treatment technology.

Beyond BAL-29

“I always believed we could achieve BAL-40,” says Ron Moon, principal scientist at WMT. “It took us another two years of intensive R&D before we were advised by Warringtonfire Melbourne that we had succeeded in attaining BAL-40 [via AS1530.8.1:2018, under AS3959:2018] at their fire-testing facility.

“This is the first time a combustible product – radiata pine treated with FLAMEfixx dFx® – has achieved a fire rating to BAL-40.”

The new rating for FLAMEfixx dFx® is therefore a scientific breakthrough of global significance. ABCB CodeMark Certification for all existing FLAMEfixx dFx® BAL-40 products is expected to be in place by later this year.

Testing regime

The product is exposed to 40kW of radiant heat under stringently controlled settings, kW being a measure of the energy involved in the combustion. The BAL-40 rating is therefore a measure of the flame resistance properties of FLAMEfixx dFx® treated timber.

In the test, when FLAMEfixx dFx® is exposed to BAL-40 conditions, as the 40kW of radiant heat drops, the flame self-extinguishes, as a consequence of the inherent properties of FLAMEfixx dFx®. What remains is a slightly blackened surface, with the structural integrity of the timber still intact.

By minimising the spread of flame, smoke is also minimised. As smoke inhalation is a leading cause of bushfire fatalities, this is another major benefit of BAL-40 rating for FLAMEfixx dFx®.

To achieve BAL-40, the testing needs to simulate an actual bushfire environment. The test involves the placement of cribs that produce and replicate ember attack – the most potent and lethal constituent of a bushfire environment.

Major milestone

“Being able to offer H3 treated pine timber that is rated to BAL-40 is a major milestone for the Australian timber industry,” says ITI Manager Craig Davies. “BAL-40 is what we required to be able to take FLAMEfixx dFx® to market at the premium level. These products potentially offer a greater level of security for home-owners in bushfire-prone areas.”

HSE & Warranty

FLAMEfixx dFx® meets the Health, Safety and Environmental requirements for currently approved wood preservatives. It is safe for use in high-contact areas like housing and playgrounds.

FLAMEfixx dFx® products are backed by a 25-year performance warranty for protection against fungal decay and termites when installed in exterior, above-ground applications.

Availability

FLAMEfixx dFx® is marketed and distributed by ITI, the nation’s largest independent timber products distributor.

BAL-40 is already approved for FLAMEfixx dFx® sub-flooring (joists and bearers) and FLAMEfixx dFx® weatherboard (cladding) systems. Approval for FLAMEfixx dFx® decking systems is expected in August.

Wholesale supplies of these products will be available at ITI outlets throughout Australia from September 2021, except for FLAMEfixx dFx® weatherboard (cladding) systems, which will be ready for market next year.

Continuous innovation

Over the past 33 years, ITI’s constant drive for innovation has resulted in the development of a range of revolutionary, purpose-designed timber solutions.

A market-first created in partnership with Resene Paints, Design Pine offers a range of true primed structural and decorative timber products that are finger-jointed and laminated for increased dimensional stability.

Another ITI innovation, EziTrim’s top coat-ready timber mouldings are finger-jointed and uniquely pre-primed, offering an excellent alternative to typical MDF mouldings.

And now FLAMEfixx the world’s first Impregnated treated pine product that exceeds BAL-29 and BAL-40 requirements as set out in the Australian Standard AS3959-2018. Currently available in 45mm structural MGP10, decking and screening, FLAMEfixx dFx® products also offer protection against fungal decay and insect (termite) attack to hazard level 3 (H3).

WOOD MODIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES (WMT): PROFILE

01-07-2020

Wood Modification Technologies (WMT) has established in 2014 for the sole purpose of creating new innovative process technologies that provides durable fire protection solutions to wood and engineered wood products. The dFx® Technology developed by WMT’s after 5 years of exhaustive testing and trialling has produced the FLAMEfixx dFx® range products including; decking, screening, now structural mgp10 sub-flooring (all sizes) which will be followed by weatherboards, glue laminated products and other engineered wood products. The FLAMEfixx dFx® products incorporate both an impregnated flame retardant and an approved wood preservative (H3) in the treatment of radiata pine. The flame retardant used exceeds Bushfire Attack Level BAL-29 and BAL-40 requirements set out in Australian Standard (AS3959-2018).

The WMT’s dFx® technology was developed in Australasia specifically to meet Australian Standard (AS3959) for Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL-29, next BAL-40) and for use in North American forest-fires where the preliminary testing has proven successful with the final test results expected July-2020. ITI is the major shareholder of WMT, and has been able to support, resource and provide the necessary supply channel to market throughout its Australian distribution network.