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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #184639

Title: New Treatments for Making Cotton Derived Products Flame- and Afterglow-Resistant

item Chang, Sechin
item Sachinvala, Navzer
item Parikh, Dharnidhar
item Sawhney, Amar

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2010
Publication Date: 9/15/2005
Citation: Chang, S., Sachinvala, N.D., Parikh, D.V., Sawhney, A.P., Jarrett, W. 2005. New Treatments for Making Cotton Derived Products Flame- and Afterglow-Resistant. International Nonwovens Technical Conference. 10p.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton is readily flammable and requires chemical modification to be flame resistant for the development of safe and high volume uses. Regulatory guidelines in the interest of worker and environmental safety suggest that new reagents that provide flame resistance to cotton must be effective, non-toxic, and should become innocuous upon reaction with cotton. While the threshold temperatures for the breakdown of cotton, its chemical treatments, and treated fibers and fabrics are important for processing, volatile byproducts generated during the degradation of treated cotton products should be innocuous. As part of our program to develop new and high volume uses for cotton, we became interested in the design, preparation, characterization, and testing of new chemical treatments for fibers and fabrics to make them flame resistant. Furthermore, to improve on existing cotton treatments from the human and environmental health perspectives, we removed certain toxic groups (such as formaldehyde, methylolated amides, halogens, hydrogen halides, and hydrogen cyanide) from bring present at any stage in the formulations, processes, and treated fabrics. In addition, we designed our compounds so that they may ultimately be prepared from low cost gases. In addition to the discussion on design and synthesis of new chemical treatments, results of standard flammability tests (i.e., the vertical flame tests and limiting oxygen index tests) will demonstrate that the new cotton treatments are very effective for use with plain weave, twill and fleece cotton fabrics. Other applications of the new treatments that serve emerging high volume uses of treated cotton fibers and fabrics will also be discussed. This work will benefit cotton fiber and fabric producers as well scientists developing new products from flame resistant cotton fibers and fabrics.

Technical Abstract: In this paper we will discuss the design, synthesis, and characterization of new epoxy phosphonate monomers that impart flame resistance to cotton regardless of fabric construction. Complete structural characterization of new compounds is provided by proton, carbon-13, one and two dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance techniques in the solution state involving proton, carbon-13, nitrogen-15, and phosphorus-31 nuclei. Furthermore, we discuss formulations, textile treatments, and the extent of flame protection the new compounds provide plain weave, twill, and fleece fabrics as observed by standard vertical flame and limiting oxygen index (LOI) tests. Data from thermogravimetric, differential scanning calorimetric, and dynamic mechanical analyses along with flammability test data will illustrate the usefulness of the new treatments in traditional and emerging market applications.