Is Shou Sugi Ban Wood Fire Resistant?

There are many things to consider when deciding whether or not to opt for charred wood for your exterior or interior home needs. Shou Sugi Ban, also called Yakisugi, is a traditional Japanese method of charring wood. This article will discuss whether or not this method causes the charred timber to become fire resistant.

Shou Sugi Ban fire resistance
– Shou Sugi Ban fire resistance

Fighting Fire With Fire

Much research has gone into the science of burnt wood, and whether or not charring or carbonizing increases its fire resistance. The process of Shou Sugi Ban starts with scorching the wood using a blowtorch, reaching temperatures averaging 1100 degrees Celsius. The carbon residue is then scrubbed off with a stiff brush and rinsed with water. Carbonizing wood in this manner causes moisture and other organic compounds such as sugar to dissolve, effectively ‘sterilizing’ the burnt wood. After the wood is rinsed and dried, natural oil is applied to seal the wood and preserve its natural beauty.

This process of ‘sterilizing’ charred timber makes it water-proof, resistant to decay and insects, not to mention it results in a significantly longer lifespan. But is it fire resistant? The answer is yes. Here’s where the science comes in: Wood is composed of two compounds – cellulose and lignin. Cellulose is softer and more reactive to fire than lignin, which is tougher and will only burn under much higher temperatures. Using the Yakisugi or Shou Sugi Ban method of charring wood, the cellulose layer gets burned off. Once the cellulose is burned off, the lignin layer gets exposed, resulting in significantly increased fire resistance.

Burnt wood wall
– Burnt wood wall

Where to get Shou Sugi Ban

No matter what your home project needs are, from cladding, decking, flooring, or fencing, Degmeda has all you need to create your dream home. With a variety of materials to choose from, such as Accoya, larch, pine, spruce, and cedar, Degmeda can help you find your own unique style for your home improvement ideas. Degmeda provides worldwide shipping and offers wood charring services for your existing structures as well. Explore their catalog and enrich your home with a unique, timeless style of Japanese charred wood products that will last for decades to come.