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What product can be applied to a Tas oak screen (clear finish) that will comply with BCA Fire Property Group 1 (non combustible). Is there a product that will suit our needs?

Woodsolutions Answer +

Various fire retardant coatings delay ignition and/or reduce the contribution to total fire load. However, we are not aware of a fire retardant product that makes timber ‘non-combustible’ according to the Australian Standard non-combustibility test. Non-combustibility is assessed by testing to AS 1530.1 The test is a small-scale fire test involving immersing small samples of a material in a furnace held steady at 750°C.  A material is deemed combustible if the mean duration of sustained flaming lasts for a period of 5 seconds or longer at any time during the test for any of the five samples tested. However, several timber veneer suppliers hold test certificates giving Material Group 1 status to fire retardant treated MDF with a decorative face veneer, so perhaps the proposed screen could be made in this way. Note that Material Group 1 products are not necessarily ‘non-combustible’ in terms of AS 1530.1. Material Group numbers are defined according to ‘time to flashover’.


Our client has specified ROUGH SAWN TIMBER for this project.
We provided a sample board of 1m lengths some lengths have more prominent saw swirl marks than other lengths of timber.
Can saw marks be controlled or are saw swirl marks an unavoidable by-product of specifying that type of timber finish.

Woodsolutions Answer +

It sounds as if the timber in question has been sawn with a circular saw if it is showing ‘swirl marks’. The other type of saw marks are those left by a bandsaw, which are vertical rather than curved. The sharpness of the saw, and the grain and density of the timber, also have an influence on the final result. However, either kind of sawn surface would qualify as ‘rough sawn timber’ in our opinion, unless there was a more detailed specification.


I am looking at importing timber flooring (engineered oak and laminate) from China and would like to know if there are any standards/requirements (fire, slip..) the timber would need if i was to supply for Victorian residential and commercial properties. If this is not your area would you be able to direct me to the authority who may be able to assist. 

Woodsolutions Answer +

Flooring is not required to have any specific slip resistance unless it is used for stair treads, or as the surface of a landing or ramp in Class 2-9 buildings. In the case of stair treads the required slip resistance can be provided by certified nosing strips. Fire resistance is a little more difficult. We have only tested certain types of timber for use as flooring, mainly Australian species and only actual timber, not laminate. It’s possible the producer of the laminate flooring has test data or would be prepared to commission tests to gain access to the market. Otherwise, Class 1 residential properties (detached houses and row houses separated by a fire-resisting wall) are not subject to fire regulations with respect to flooring materials.

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