Home / Knowledge / News / News Detail
Dr Grunlan develops fire-resistant, eco-friendly coating
30
Apr '12
A thin polymer coating developed by materials engineers at Texas A&M University could keep cotton clothing and polyurethane-foam-based furniture from going up in flames.

And the coating is environmentally friendly, too.

Dr. Jaime Grunlan, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, works with polymer nanocomposites that have properties similar to those of metals and ceramics — conducting electricity, for instance — while maintaining properties of polymers, such as low density.

In 2010, Grunlan's development of a flame-resistant polymer coating got him some attention, as he fielded calls from the United States military, the cotton industry, mattress manufacturers and the Federal Aviation Administration, and from companies around the world.

New advancements in the area, however, should garner even more attention.

“We can now make cotton fabric that doesn't burn at all,” Grunlan says.

Grunlan's technology — which has been reported in Science News, Chemical and Engineering News, Nature and Advanced Materials — involves covering every microscopic fiber in a fabric with a thin composite coating of two polymers that exhibit an intumescent effect, producing a protective carbon foam coating when exposed to high temperatures.

The thin films are about one-tenth of a micron thick, or about one-thousandth the thickness of a human hair, and are created with the layer-by-layer assembly technique in which the coating is deposited onto the surface of the fiber being coated. This layer-by-layer process allows Grunlan to control the thickness of the coating down to the nanometer level.

Grunlan says the technology will be suitable for clothing, including children's clothing; lab coats; and medical clothing for both doctors and patients. It can even be used in military camps, where a fire in a single tent can wipe out an entire camp.

But the technology's applications go far beyond just clothing and fabric. The coating could be used in foams, such as those found in sofas, mattresses, theatre and auditorium seats, airplane seat cushions, and building insulation.

On polyurethane foam, a coating of chitosan (a natural material extracted from shrimp and lobster shells) and clay is deposited to eliminate melt dripping during burning. The nanocomposite mixture coats the interior walls of foam. The result is that when burned, the treated foam keeps its shape instead of puddling at high temperatures like untreated polyurethane foam does. This quality eliminates the “melt-dripping” effect that further spreads fires.

"It's like we're building a nano-brick wall within each cell of the foam," Grunlan says.

That brick wall keeps the foam from being destroyed. And the coating is so thin that it adds only 4 to 5 weight-percent to the foam and does not negatively alter its color, texture or flexibility.


Must ReadView All

Apparel/Garments | On 29th Apr 2016

India’s apparel sector has huge job creation potential

Export-oriented apparel production in India and other South Asian...

Apparel/Garments | On 29th Apr 2016

Raymond’s net sales up 5% in FY16 to Rs 5,595 cr

Renowned Indian textile, apparel and fashion brand, Raymond reported...

Apparel/Garments | On 29th Apr 2016

eBay and Innotrac merge to become Radial

eBay Enterprise and Innotrac have joined forces to become Radial, the ...

Interviews View All

Vivek Kumar Rawal
BioRe India Ltd.

How is the demand for Indian organic cotton in the world market? What is...

Paolo Briatore
INVISTA India Sales & Services Ltd.

How do you find the market for intimate wear in India as compared to the...

Engineer Sohail Lashari
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI

Should banning import and export of certain textile products be...

Eric Scholler
Groz-Beckert

<b><i>The Indian market has huge potential in technical textiles, and by...

Silke Brand-Kirsch
Schlegel und Partner

<b><i>Silke Brand-Kirsch, executive partner of Schlegel und Partner, a...

Susan Stansbury
Converting Influence LLC

Susan Stansbury is the director of Converting Influence LLC. Converting...

Jay Ramrakhiani
Occasions Elegance Wear

It is believed that by early 19th century, Varanasi weavers had moved away ...

Karan Arora
Karan Arora

Bridal couture created with rich Indian heritage, exquisite craftsmanship...

Pranav Mishra
Huemn

Designers Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty’s Huemn is known for its...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH
April 2016

F2F Magazine

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

SUBSCRIBE


Browse Our Archives

GO


feedback
We would love to hear from you about your experience using the new interface. A quick review of yours would help us give you a better experience.
Advanced Search