Developing a Fire Retardant oriented strand board product - QC-194

Preferred Disciplines: Chemistry, Chemical engineering, Wood Products, Forestry, Building Products (Masters)
Project length: 4-6 months (1 unit)
Approx. start date: As soon as possible
Location: Montreal, QC and Ville Saint-Laurent, QC
No. of Positions: 1
Preferences: Focus on specific universities, Concordia Construction Eng BAC, Laval University** first choice, Materials Engineering at McGill, Waterloo (Chemistry department)
Company: Anonymous

About Company:

A multi-national wood manufacturing company that employs 2200 people, and is focused on technology and innovation for the future  to grow its specialty business

Summary of Project:

For over 20 years researchers have tried to develop a fire resistant oriented strand board that competes with fire retardant plywood, with no success. Project objectives include making panels with different commercially available  formulations and testing them for fire performance, as well as developing a board which is completely new to the Industry, and patentable a different means of achieving fire performance.  To date there is no commercial solution that provides an FR OSB product that preserves the original product strength. A ll of them degrade the structural properties making the solutions unviable as alternatives. This project requires us to think outside the box on applicationn technologies, preserving board strength and meeting the fire performanc standards.

Research Objectives/Sub-Objectives:

  • Understand the fire codes and standards
  • Employ clever ways of achieving fire peroformance in a cost-effective manner, by using a combination of existing technologies or something completely new. Different loading levels of resin are required in the panel to combat the strength loss and not all FR chemistries lose strength to the same degree
  • Produce a patentable final solution for commercial production, and test at NRCAN laboratories for large scale fire performance


    • Literature search of previous options that have failed in the past
    • Lab scale performance testing of different fire coatings and chemicals new to our business, varying resin, wod levels and FR chemistries and testing board strength and fire performance
    • If one of them works , move to pilot scale testing at the plant level

    Expertise and Skills Needed:

    • Able to work in a lab scale setting in a safe manner to develop test protocols and  achieve reproducible/repeatable results
    • Report writing skills and ability to read and understand codes and standards are key
    • Innovation- to come up with new materials that would greatly improve wood`s fire performance
    • Chemistry understanding of how products react to create fire retardancy
    • Fleuncy in English required; functional French desirable

    For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

    1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
    2. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform or directly to Noha Gerges