The Marlow-based company said it had developed and tested formulations, under its Protim brand, aimed at providing a temporary reduction to the surface spread of flame rate when timber frame buildings were at their most vulnerable. Now it is looking to start discussions with key companies and organisations in the timber frame sector in order to better understand their requirements.

News of Osmose‘s research follows hot on the heels of the publication of London Fire Brigade’s official report into a fire at a large timber frame apartment at a construction site in Colindale, north London and a blaze at a partially-built student accommodation block in Newcastle.

Andy Hodge, Osmose Europe’s marketing director, said the fire retardants market was growing but the company needed to know whether timber frame manufacturers needed long-term fire retardant treatment or whether they needed a temporary product which could dampen the surface spread of flame during the construction phase.

He said existing fire retardant products providing long-term fire resistance were applied in a high pressure process which involves kilning and handling. This he said may be “excessive” for the timber frame industry’s needs.

Osmose’s new formulation is designed to be applied to timber in a conventional low pressure treatment process and does not require kilning.

However, Osmose does not see such a product as the sole means of reducing fire risk in semi-finished timber frame buildings, but part of a matrix management also involving other factors such as site security.