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Title: Phosphorus-nitrogen synergism in the fire barrier of greige cotton nonwoven fabrics

item Nam, Sunghyun
item Parikh, Dharnidhar
item Condon, Brian

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2010
Publication Date: 4/28/2010
Citation: Nam, S., Parikh, D.V., Condon, B.D. 2010. Phosphorus-Nitrogen Synergism in the Fire Barrier of Greige Cotton Nonwoven Fabrics. Proceedings of National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. p. 1591-1596.

Interpretive Summary: Although diammonium phosphate (DAP), one of the most effective flame retardant (FR) for cellulosic fabrics, is cheap and environmentally friendly, its use on textile products is relatively low due to lack of its washing durability. As a result, the systematic study to explain the effect of nitrogen additives on the FR function of DAP is few. The objective was to investigate the phosphorus-nitrogen (P-N) synergism on the flame resistance of greige cotton nonwoven fabrics treated with DAP and urea. We found that, compared with DAP alone, the addition of urea at %P:%N = 2.5:4.6 enhanced the flame resistance of greige cotton nonwoven fabric with an increase of limited oxygen index in 13% and a decrease of char length in 54%. This synergistic action was attributed to the increased activation energy of thermal decomposition and the formation of nonflammable insulative coating on the fiber surface. These results will contribute in the development of cost-effective and ‘green’ fire barriers, which need infrequent washing, for mattresses and upholstery of furniture and automobile.

Technical Abstract: By optimizing the ratio of diammonium phosphate to urea we have fine tuned the development of the greige cotton fire barrier fabrics for mattresses to comply with the flammability regulations (16CFR 1633). Concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen on greige cotton were determined by elemental analysis. Char from a limiting oxygen index (LOI) test was examined by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to explain the phosphorus-nitrogen synergism.