Home / Knowledge / News / Dr Grunlan develops fire-resistant, eco-friendly coating
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

Courtesy: Delta Apparel

Apparel/Garments | On 31st Aug 2016

Delta Apparel acquires clothing brand Coast

Delta Apparel said it has bought a majority of assets in clothing...

Textiles | On 31st Aug 2016

Trützschler showing new technologies at ITMA ASIA

German textile machinery producer Trützschler will be showing new and ...

Courtesy: Textile Asia

Textiles | On 31st Aug 2016

$350mn worth of deals struck at Textile Asia fair in

The 16th International Textile Asia Exhibition in Pakistan ended with ...

Interviews View All

Amit Jain
Shingora Textiles Ltd

‘In terms of fabric, the fastest growing category for us is a blend of...

Giovanni Pizzamiglio, Paolo Crespi & Riccardo Robustelli
Epson, For.Tex & F.lli Robustelli

‘The percentage share of printing in the global textile market is pretty...

Rahuul Jashnani
Jashn

‘Online economy has changed the whole dynamics of buying habits.’

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn, Senior Vice President - Operations Americas of Suominen...

Suresh Patel
Sidwin Fabric

Sidwin Fabric is a manufacturer and exporter of polypropylene textiles and ...

Eamonn Tighe
Nature Works LLC

Eamonn Tighe, Fibres and Nonwovens - Business Development Manager of...

Mike Hoffman
Gildan Activewear SRL

Gildan Activewear, a manufacturer and marketer of branded clothing and...

Judy Frater
Somaiya Kala Vidya

Among the many honours showered on Frater, including Fulbright and Ford...

Jay Ramrakhiani
Occasions Elegance Wear

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

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
August 2016

F2F Magazine

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

SUBSCRIBE


Browse Our Archives

GO


Advanced Search