Sunseeker Enterprises Inc., DBA Sun FireDefense, announced that on Sept. 13, 2022, the company was granted patent #11441076 for its fire prevention coating formula by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Specific applications of the invention include but are not limited to protection of residential properties in wildfire-prone areas, commercial structures, and utility pole assets. When the long-lasting solution is applied to a surface, dried, and cured, it absorbs into the substrate to significantly decrease the possibility of combustion for years afterward.
Sun FireDefense’s SPF3000 is a clear liquid that can also be mixed into paint or stain or simply sprayed onto the exterior of a structure. The company’s track record includes saving homes in some of California’s most devastating fires (see testimonials below regarding Woolsey, 2018, and Skirball, 2017).
According to the patent, “The invention is a novel fire prevention coating to be applied to surfaces to help prevent ignition and inhibit the spread of fire. It can bond onto wood, polymers, metals, fabrics, fiberglass, and plastics, or be absorbed into porous materials.”
The patent in some ways compares Sun FireDefense’s “SPF 3000” to other intumescent fire-retardant technology which has a protective layer that expands, starving the oxygen that fire needs and therefore self-extinguishing. Unlike other intumescent coatings, after the heat dissipates, the formula then contracts to its original form allowing surfaces to breathe, a critical quality of wood and other exterior surface areas. This also allows the product the possibility of sustaining over multiple burns.
The patent describes an application process using spraying or brushing, allowing time to dry, then reducing and preventing the spread of fires across those surfaces. “When heated, the fire prevention coating formula forms a thick, stable, passivating oxide layer protecting the surface from further reaction.”
The patent gives context for the technology by clarifying: “The process can be compared to a bridge being built with metal expansion joints which expand and contract without causing faults in the overall structure of the bridge. Through the elimination of oxygen and the natural occurrence of carbonization buildup the present invention also significantly reduces the volume of smoke, flames, and fumes associated with fires.”
The patent includes information about testing, noting: “The invention has been tested by multiple labs and agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Consulting, Inc., and NTS Laboratories, Inc. The formula was tested to ASTM-2768 standards by NGC and Guardian Fire Testing Laboratories, Inc. both agencies being on Cal Fire’s list of approved third party testing. The purpose of this test method was to evaluate the ability of a product to limit the surface spread of flame when evaluated for 30 minutes. The formula met the conditions of classification as outlined in ASTM-2768-11. For the initial 10-minute test period, the test specimen had a flame spread index less than or equal to 25 and the flame front did not progress more than 10.5 feet beyond the centerline of the burners at any time during the thirty-minute test period.”
Additionally, Turner McClaine Environmental Consulting conducted an evaluation of wood treated with the dried formula to determine if it would pose an environmental or health threat. It was tested to define if a normal treatment process would render the treated and dried material to be classified as ‘hazardous waste’ by State or Federal regulatory standards. The laboratory analysis during the test determined that all results were “non-detect” for Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs), meaning that there were no VOCs present at concentrations above the laboratory reporting limits and the product is safe and non-toxic once it dries.
During the Woolsey fire of 2018, a resident client of Corral Canyon in Malibu did a video testimonial explaining: “We had a wall of fire coming at us and spot fires on the left and right. All my neighbors’ homes, 4 in a row, are rubble now. Our house took a direct hit on three sides and survived.”
During the Skirball Fire in 2017, Tom Kimball, project manager for a Bel Air home, said: “The fire was marching up the hill, ashes were raining down on the house – a firestorm. Just 150 yards away, four homes burned down. Afterwards, we had only a few hours of cleanup.”