Tiny ceramic particles could be used to make plastic-backed cladding fire safe—reducing the risk of devastating fires.
The particles were inspired by the insulation on electrical cables, which transform under extreme heat to keep the material from burning. After experimenting with different ceramic ingredients, Dr. Kate Nguyen of the University of Melbourne developed a lightweight, ceramic material that feels like compressed powder. When exposed to extreme heat, the tiny bits of ceramic blend with the rest of the material, preventing it from burning.
The team hopes the new ceramic could be used in building cladding, and perhaps even be sprayed onto existing surfaces to render them fireproof.
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