Make “Fire Retardancy” a Global Standard! Develop New Markets by Identification of New Applications for “Fire Retardant” and “Fireproof” Corrugated CardboardsFUJIDAN Corp


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Fire retardant corrugated cardboard used instead of fire retardant plywood in exhibition panels. Product certified by the Japan Fire Protection Association

Points to be noted

  • Overcome weaknesses of a product with technology, and discover new applications
  • Application of technology developed for fire retardant corrugated cardboards to other fields

The weaknesses of corrugated cardboards are vulnerability to water and flammability. Though reinforced corrugated cardboards (HiPLE-ACE) have been developed with excellent waterproofing, issue of flammability has not been completely addressed, due to which, use of corrugated cardboards was given up in many instances. To overcome this weakness, Fujidan Corporation has been working to develop “Fire-retardant corrugated cardboard” since about 2013. We worked in collaboration with manufacturers of fire-retardant agents, studied chemicals and coating techniques, etc. suitable to the nature of materials and developed corrugated cardboards that are less likely to catch fire, which after inspection by the Japan Fire Protection Association was approved as a “Fire-retardant Product”. We are also working on the development of “Fire-retardant Cardboard”, our goal is to popularize this product as a replacement for fire-retardant plywood used as partition for exhibition booths in business shows. Field testing is now in progress with the cooperation of major exhibition companies.
The criterion for a fire-retardant product is that after applying the flame of a burner for 2 minutes, the fire caught by the product must extinguish within 10 seconds. With trial and error to fulfill this criterion, we succeeded in increasing the effect of fire-retardant agents by uniform coating using a robot. We have already received inquiries from companies, and university laboratories, etc. This product has also been commercialized as a “Disaster prevention partition” that can provide privacy at gymnasiums, etc. which are used as evacuation shelters during disasters.

Robot for coating the fire-retardant agent

Awareness of fire prevention measures is limited to specific fields such as housing. However, there are numerous other scenarios such as exhibitions, events, and shops where many people gather and fire retardancy is an essential requisite in the case of a fire. In future, it is highly likely that “Fire retardancy” will attract attention from various industries as a new essential function. Due to tightening of regulations of the Fire Service Act in the future, fire retardancy may be made obligatory for corrugated cardboard material. For example, there is a high expectation for furniture and art objects, etc. made from corrugated cardboard.

Though we have always been a step ahead in working on the development of fire-retardant corrugated cardboard, in future, we are seeking partners to propagate the necessity and possibilities of fire-retardant corrugated cardboard. Specifically, the idea is to secure material requirements in the market through nurturing and vitalizing the fire-retardant corrugated cardboard market by providing the flameproofing technology of our company to peers who develop applications of reinforced corrugated cardboard.

Utilizing the know-how of manufacturing fire-retardant corrugated cardboard and fire-retardant cardboard, we also flameproof cloth, metal, wood, and Styrofoam. Though fire-retardant agents comprise common ingredients such as silica, sodium silicate, etc. 5 types of fire-retardant agents and fire-retardant water-based paints are used depending on the material to be coated, and coating amount is also adjusted. Tests are always conducted before coating to adjust the blending and coating amounts of the ingredients. The salient point is to achieve flameproofing without losing the original feel and texture such that the presence of a coating cannot be felt.

Our company is now working on the development of “Flame-proof corrugated cardboards” that are expected to have a broader range of applications than fire retardant corrugated cardboard, and we have applied for approval. The term “Fire retardancy” as stipulated by the Fire Service Act under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications indicates the property of less likelihood to catch fire, but “Non-inflammability” as stipulated by the Building Standards Act under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, is a standard indicating that a material exposed to fire does not burst into flames even after contact with the fire source for a long time, and is applicable to construction materials such as concrete, bricks, roof tiles, steel, metal plates, plaster, and gypsum boards of thickness 12 mm or more.

Corrugated cardboards that have been approved as flame-proof do not exist in the world. If corrugated cardboards get approval as a flame-proof product for the first time in the world, then the possibility of increasing their application as a new construction material can be expected.

Heating experiment of fire retardant corrugated cardboards

Interview Date: June 30, 2018

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We have newly developed before other companies a reinforced flame retardant cardboard called “Certified Flame Retardant Paper Partition". Our product is certified by The Japan Building Disaster Prevention Association, and we aim to develop new markets for flame retardant cardboard. In addition to reinforced cardboard, we will meet various needs concerning flame retardation, such as the flame proofing processing of materials other than cardboard.

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