Flame-retardant coatings for clothing and foam in furniture could soon be made of environmentally benign substances such as clay and polysaccharides, according to work presented at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Denver this month. The new layered films might answer the call for safer alternatives to commonly used halogenated compounds, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, that are being phased out because of toxicity concerns.
One coating, made of nanometers-thick layers of poly(sodium phosphate) and poly(allylamine), protects cotton from being consumed during flame tests. Compared with uncoated cotton, which completely disintegrates in an applied flame, a 10-bilayer phosphate-amine coating develops only a char when exposed to a flame, retaining 41% of its weight. Under high heat, the same film does not ignite at all.
To learn more about this first time in-tumescent coating, one that forms a protective carbon foam when exposed to fire or high heat, click here.
For more information on fire safety from flame retardants, view:
Flame Retardants Used to Increase Fire Safety in Electrical Equipment