We get asked a lot of questions
Our technology is unique in application and usage so we get asked a lot of questions. If there's something you want to know but isn't answered below, feel free to contact one of the team via the Meet the Team page or fill in a contact form and somebody will be in touch shortly.
What do you mean by 'system-led' approach to construction?
A system-led fire protection design method involves checking that the specified components work both individually and holistically. System components will generally include active fire protection measures (those triggered by an action such as sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms) as well as passive fire protection (whereby the spread of fire is slowed or contained through the use of built-in fire-protection for walls, floors and doors amongst others). A system-led approach can combine compartmentation, achieved with fire-doors, sprinkler systems, and FR-rated OSB board for example, and then assessing each component for its individual performance as well as how it works in combination with the other components.
How much does ZI cost?
The cost of incorporating Zeroignition Technology into a product varies according to a number of variables. These include: Required fire performance of finished product, raw material type, level of chemical integration, production process, physical and environmental characteristics required, Zi product type, shipping and logistics, certification and testing requirements, and a number of others. It is therefore impossible to simply quote a price. The Zi team will work through these variables with you to establish the true value-add of producing a Zi-powered, fire-protected product. We will work hard to price to the market conditions of the finished product and so ensure the best possible route to market success. What we can say with certainty is that using Zi technology will deliver the best price/performance in the business.
What is active fire protection?
Systems requiring human/computer-based action or motion to trigger a response protecting structures and people
What is passive fire protection?
This contains fires or slows the spread through use of fire-resistant walls, floors, and doors (amongst other examples). Protection is designed-in
What's wrong with self-certification?
Self-certification, by its nature, relies on the chain of ownership required to meet a particular standard. For example, with construction products, this includes component material selection and quality management, product and system specification, product testing standards, long term manufacturing quality management, shipping logistics, installation, and site inspection. Even a minor breakdown at any of these stages can render a product or system sub-standard to the required specification. 3rd party testing and certification, with regular auditing, together with effective installation management and inspection goes a long way to removing these issues.
What is leaching? And why is it important in fire protected materials?
Leaching is the propensity for any form of chemical, or other, treatment of a material to disperse when exposed to moisture - rain, high humidity, and so on. Fire protection technology should be applied in such a way that it is still in place for the whole of the design life and usage classification of the product that has been protected. Zeroignition has developed a number of technologies to severely limit, or remove, leaching in protected products.
What is hygroscopicity? And why is it important in fire protected materials?
Hygroscopicity is the property of many materials, including table salt and sugar, to absorb moisture from the air. Moisture absorption in construction and other products has been known to trigger long term degradation of the structural strength and other physical properties of materials which have been treated with hygroscopic chemicals. Many fire retardants contribute significantly to the hygroscopicity of treated materials, with inevitable long term implications for structures. Zeroignition protected products have achieved extremely low or no hygroscopicity in 3rd party testing.
What is flame spread? And how is it tested?
Flame spread describes the North American testing philosophy related to those passive fire protection methods which help occupants of a space, like a hotel room, office or room in a home to escape from the fire (it’s generally related to the early stages of a fire). The standard measures how far, along a 24 foot tunnel where the material under test lines the upper surface, flame form a propane burner will spread. The North American standard is ASTM-E84, also known as the Steiner tunnel test.
What is fire resistance? And how is it tested?
Fire resistance is the ability of a material or system to retain its structural integrity for a defined period of time - 30, 60, 90, 120 minutes or more - when exposed to an intense fire on one side. The objective is to keep an intense fire contained within the space where it started without spreading to the rest of the building or other structure. There are many test standards and these relate to one or more of fire door, window, floor, roof and wall sub-structures.
What is reaction to fire? And how is it tested?
Reaction to fire describes the European testing philosophy related to those passive fire protection methods which help occupants of a space, like a hotel room, office or room in a home to escape from a fire (it’s generally related to the early stages of a fire). The standard for product testing and classification is described via EN13501 - the Euroclass system.
Who was the founder of Zi and where is he today?
Our founder, Dan Baroux, who was responsible for the development of many of the Zeroignition Technologies, sadly passed away in December 2016. Since then the company has significantly staffed up to accelerate the commercialization of the unique fire protection technologies, which are his legacy.
How old is your company?
Zeroignition was founded in 2009, and has spent much of the intervening years developing the methods and processes for the application of Zeroignition chemistry to a wide range of raw materials and their manufacturing systems
How big is your company?
Zeroignition has a dedicated team of over 30 individuals with a number of external lab personnel supporting the development of our business.
Where are your headquarters?
Zeroignition's Head office is in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with the R&D centre in Vancouver, BC.
Where is Zi made?
Zeroignition products are produced in Europe and North America
Is Zi a publicly traded company?
Zeroignition Group is a privately held group of companies.
If the solution is a Trade secret, what is patented?
If Zeroignition were to try to patent the Zeroignition formula, that would involve full public disclosure. We have decided to keep the formulation as a closely held trade secret and instead, patented the methods and process by which our technology is applied to materials. We now have over 30 patents granted in many international jurisdictions, with as many more pending.
What things can you add Zi to ?
Zeroignition technology is effective with, and can be incorporated into, almost all materials. The list includes all wood, wood panel, cellulose paper and fibres, and most polymers, plastics, adhesives, coatings and laminates. It also prevent mineral fibres such a glass fibre from melting up to at least 2000 degC. Zeroignition is continually identifying new materials which can take advantage of Zeroignition's fire protection benefits.
What makes Zi different from the competition?
Zeroignition technology is unique because of the combination of its features. It is highly effective in almost all materials; it is completely non-toxic in application and use; it is only available to licensed manufacturers who have to meet rigorous quality and process standards; it supports the creation of construction systems with Zeroignition-based fire protection built into all of the components; it is strongly branded as a powerful ingredient in the creation of new high performance products and systems; and the Zeroignition expertise is delivered by a highly talented group of really, really, nice people. No competitor has this combination of benefits to offer the market.
Is Zi a single additive or is it modified for specific applications?
Zeroignition products can be delivered in a variety of aqueous concentrations, as a solid, and in combination with other materials. During the customer evaluation process, Zeroignition is able to determine the optimum version for specific customer and product applications.
Does it change the colour of the item it's added to?
No. But if you wish to create a colour to identify the product on-site this can be accommodated on request - please contact the team for further details.
What do you mean it’s non-toxic?
It has been tested to OECD 201, 202 and 203 animal and plant toxicity standards and found to have zero mortality rate in tested species. It is also pH neutral (ph of 7.2) leaving it completely safe for storage and handling. Further handling information can be found in our MSDS documentation.
What colour is the solution?
Zeroignition Solution is a clear liquid sometimes with a very slight tint of green. It is pH neutral.
What does Zi bring to the table when working with a customer?
The Zeroignition team has career-length experience in chemistry, chemical engineering, process engineering, fire engineering, fire and other testing, product certification, marketing and branding. We have hundreds of man-years of knowledge, expertise and know-how, all of which is available to our licensees and other customers and partners.
How do we work with a customer to full commercialization with Zi?
Zeroignition consults with customers through product evaluation, lab-scale development and testing, process engineering, pilot production, production, testing and certification and product marketing.
What geographical locations are we working in?
Zeroignition has commercial and technical operations in the Americas and Europe. We are dealing with customers throughout the two regions and also in Asia, Australasia and the Middle East.
Once a customer is signed up as a Licensee, can they produce Zi at their facility?
Zeroignition chemistry is a closely held trade secret and is manufactured only by our two manufacturing partners one in Europe, one in North America. As demand increases Zeroignition will facilitate the manufacture of Zeroignition Solution as close as possible to customer sites to minimise transportation costs.
Can you explain the licensing arrangement?
Zeroignition Technologies are trade secret and patented. We work with committed partners and Zeroignition does not sell to retail, wholesale or distribution. Fire is a serious business and peoples lives and property are, literally, at stake. It is critical that Zeroignition technologies are applied consistently, effectively and professionally by committed product manufacturers. The Zeroignition licensing approach ensure quality and high performance in everything we do.
How do you deliver the “solution”?
Zeroignition Solution is delivered according to customer requirements in anything from 10 liter bottles to 27 tonne tankers, and in a variety of concentrations including as a powder. Zeroignition's JIT logistics services are very highly regarded by our customers.
Is it certified ?
Certification is generally only available for end-use products. Zeroignition technologies are integrated into end use products at the point of manufacture. Therefore product certification will be managed by our customers.
How does the Zi work within a material that it is added to?
The Zeroignition formulation coats the cellular or fibrous structure of materials at the nano scale. Zeroignition technology takes advantage of all the known methods of fire retardancy in a new and unique way.
How is Zi added as an application to various media?
Zeroignition's formulation is integrated into products during manufacturing. The precise addition method is adaptable to meet the requirements of different manufacturing environments
Will it thwart insects or prevent rot?
Zeroignition's laser focus is to protect materials, people and buildings from fire. We are currently evaluating complementary technologies which can enhance other forms of protection for materials.