|Calamari Jr, Timothy|
Submitted to: Fire Sciences Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2004
Publication Date: 10/1/2004
Citation: Parikh, D.V., Sachinvala, N.D., Graves, E.E., Calamari Jr, T.A., Chen, Y., Jirsak, O. 2004. Flame retardant cotton blend highlofts. Fire Sciences Journal. 21:383-387. Interpretive Summary: Highloft (bulky) nonwovens fabrics are usually made with synthetic fibers. By introducing cotton into such nonwovens, we have created an entirely new end use for cotton fibers. However, cotton is flammable and bulky cotton blends are highly flammable. The purpose of this research was to impart flame retardance to such bulky nonwoven cotton blends. We have developed two finishing formulations containing inexpensive flame retardants. Both the formulations were successful in imparting flame resistance to these highly flammable fabrics. Using the vertical flame test, the damage sustained was limited to charring in the vicinity of the instigating flame. The finishing treatment produced value-added resilient perpendicular-laid cotton-containing nonwovens which were also flame retardant. Consumers will benefit because of the multi-faceted properties of these treated bulky nonwovens products. Farmers will benefit because of greater use of cotton.
Technical Abstract: Highloft nonwovens are low density fabrics characterized by a high ratio of thickness to weight per unit area. They are usually made of synthetic fibers. Incorporating cotton into highloft fabrics is the focus of the present research effort. The major problems with cotton are its high flammability and lack of resiliency. The objective of this research was to carry out single bath chemical finishing of perpendicular-laid (P-laid) highlofts to impart improvements in both flame resistance and fiber resiliency. We developed two finishing formulations containing (a) the flame retardant diammonium phosphate/urea, and (b) diammonium phosphate and cyclic phosphonate ester along with the crosslinking agent DMDHEU. Both the formulations were successful in imparting flame resistance to these highly flammable fabrics, protecting completely. Using the veritical flame test, the damage sustained was limited to charring in the vicinity of the instigaing flame. The crosslinking agent was effective in improving compressional resistance and recovery. The finishing treatment produced value-added FR/resilient P-laid cotton blend highlofts.