Nanofibre-filled coatings show great promise in polyurethane foam

Nanofibre-filled coatings show great promise in polyurethane foam

4:33 PM, 5th August 2011
Nanofibre-filled coatings show great promise in polyurethane foam

 

GAITHERSBURG, US: Gram for gram, novel carbon nanofibre-filled coatings devised by researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Texas A&M University out performed conventional flame retardants used in the polyurethane foam of upholstered furniture and mattresses by at least 160 per cent and perhaps by as much as 1,130 per cent.

The impressive test results, reported in the journal Polymer, suggest that significant fire-safety advantages can be gained by coating polyurethane foam (PUF) with a club-sandwich-like arrangement of thin layers containing carbon nanofibre and polymers. The upshot, said NIST, Researcher, Rick Davis, is that the experimental coating seems to create the equivalent of a “fire-resistant armour” on the porous foam.

Ignition of soft furnishings are responsible for a third of fire-caused deaths of civilians and 11 per cent of property losses due to fires in homes. The flammability of mattresses is regulated by federal law. A complementary rule to regulate the flammability of upholstered furniture has been proposed recently. Several organizations, however, have challenged the health and safety of some flame retardants designed to protect against soft furnishing fires.

Today, recipes for making PUFs result in foams in which fire retardants are embedded in the interior. In contrast, the experimental technology uses the carbon nanofibre fire retardant as a coating that covers all the nooks and crannies on the sponge-like PUF surface. The new approach, said Davis, should be attractive to PUF manufacturers as it does not need major change to foam manufacturing process, saving time and money.

The NIST-Texas A&M team coated square samples of commercially available PUF with four bilayers of a carbon nanofibre-polymer combination. The team used a standard benchtop fire test to measure the fire performance of coated and uncoated PUF. The carbon nanofibre coatings reduced PUF flammability (measured as the peak heat release rate from an ignited specimen) by 40 per cent. That result was more than 3 times better than achieved by putting the same carbon nanofibre in the foam.

When compared at the same concentrations, the carbon nanofibre coating significantly outperforms three classes of commercially available flame retardants commonly used in PUF. Reductions in flammability achieved with the coating, according to the researchers, were 158 per cent better than the reduction calculated for nonhalogens, 288 per cent better than halogens, and 1,138 per cent better than halogen-phosphorous flame retardants.

Additionally, the experimental coating “Prevents the formation of a melt pool of burning foam, which in a real fire scenario, may further reduce the resulting fire threat of burning soft furnishings,” the authors wrote.

(C) National Institute of Standards and Technology News

 

 

0 Comments

Login

Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Related News


Fluor AMEC JV agreement on Canadian Copper-Gold mine project

  IRVING, US/BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA: Fluor Corporation said that British Columbia Mining joint venture (BCMJV), a 50:50 joint venture between ...

Read more
Japan’s JX and South Korea’s SK eye petchem JV – Nikkei reported

· To invest $1.5 billion in South Korea petchem, lubricant plant - Nikkei. · Expected to reach agreement on Friday – Ni ...

Read more
European chemical companies may retreat 8 pc: Technical Analysis

  LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: The Stoxx 600 chemicals index, a gauge of Europe’s biggest chemical companies, may decline 8 per cent as it reve ...

Read more
BP, JBF agree to build new PET facility in Geel, Belgium

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: BP agreed with JBF RAK LLC to build a new 390,000 tonne per year polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production unit in Geel, Bel ...

Read more
Fluor bags contract for Sadara Chemical joint venture in Saudi Arabia

IRVING, US: Fluor Corporation has been awarded a reimbursable engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for all of the util ...

Read more
PPG to acquire Colombian coatings company, Colpisa

  PITTSBURGH, US: PPG Industries’s subsidiary, PPG Colombia has purchased coatings businesses of Colpisa Colombiana de Pinturas, a private ...

Read more