Material Science

Scientists develop fire-retardant covering including renewable materials

Texas A&M University specialists are building up a new sort of flame-retardant covering utilizing renewable, nontoxic materials promptly found in nature, which could give significantly progressively viable flame assurance for a few generally utilized materials.

Dr. Jaime Grunlan, the Linda and Ralph Schmidt ’68 Professor in the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M, drove the as of late distributed research that is highlighted on the cover of a recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials Interfaces.

Successful development and implementation of the covering could give better fire security to materials including upholstered furniture, textiles and insulation.

“These coatings offer the opportunity to reduce the flammability of the polyurethane foam used in a variety of furniture throughout most people’s homes,” Grunlan noted.

The project is an aftereffect of a progressing collaboration among Grunlan and a group of scientists at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, driven by Lars Wagberg. The group, which spends significant time in using nanocellulose, gave Grunlan the ingredients he expected to supplement his water-based covering strategy.

In nature, both the cellulose—a component of wood and various sea creatures—and clay—a component in soil and rock formations—act as mechanical reinforcements for the structures in which they are found.

“The uniqueness in this current study lies in the use of two naturally occurring nanomaterials, clay nanoplatelets and cellulose nanofibrils,” Grunlan said. “To the best of our knowledge, these ingredients have never been used to make a heat shielding or flame-retardant coating as a multilayer thin film deposited from water.”

Among the benefits gained from utilizing this technique incorporate the covering’s capacity to make a phenomenal oxygen barrier to plastic movies—normally utilized for food packaging—and better fire protection at a lower cost than other, pmore toxic ingredients traditionally used flame-retardant treatments.

To test the coatings, Grunlan and his colleagues applied the flexible polyurethane foam—often utilized in furniture cushions—and presented it to flame utilizing a butane torch to decide the level of protection the compounds provided.

While uncoated polyurethane foam quickly melts when presented to fire, the foam treated with the analysts’ covering kept the flame from harming any more distant than surface level, leaving the foam underneath intact.

“The nanobrick wall structure of the coating reduces the temperature experienced by the underlying foam, which delays combustion,” Grunlan said. “This coating also serves to promote insulating char formation and reduces the release of fumes that feed a fire.”

With the examination finished, Grunlan said the next stage for the general fire resistant project is to change the strategies into industry for implementation and further improvement.