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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 #344791

Research Project: Chemical Modification of Cotton for Value Added Applications

Location: Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research

Title: Anti-flammable properties of cotton fabrics using eco friendly inorganic materials by layering self-assisted processing

item Chang, Sechin
item Condon, Brian
item Graves, Elena
item Smith, Jade

Submitted to: International Journal of Materials Science and Applications
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/9/2018
Publication Date: 5/22/2018
Citation: Chang, S., Condon, B.D., Graves, E.E., Smith, J.N. 2018. Anti-flammable properties of cotton fabrics using eco friendly inorganic materials by layering self-assisted processing. International Journal of Materials Science and Applications. 7(4):115-125. 10.11648/j.ijmsa.20180704.11.

Interpretive Summary: Interest in developing new flame retardant systems for cotton containing materials has increased in the last 5-10 years due to environmental and toxicological concerns associated mainly with existing halogenated systems. This work demonstrates early results which indicate that simple common chemicals containing nitrogen and phosphorus can be applied to cotton fabrics in conjunction with a clay nanoparticle/polymer coating process. Flammability and thermal decomposition of the treated fabrics is greatly reduced. A commercially viable process for treating fabrics continuously is presented.

Technical Abstract: A flame retardant surface has been prepared by the layer-by layer assemblies of branched polyethylenimine (BPEI), kaolin, urea, diammonium phosphate (dibasic) on cotton fabrics. Four different kinds of cotton fabrics (print cloth, mercerized print cloth, mercerized twill, and fleece) were prepared using solutions of BPEI, urea, diammonium phosphate (dibasic), and kaolin. Layer-by-layer assemblies for flame retardant properties were applied by the pad-dry-cure methods and each coating formula was rotated for 10, 20, 30, or 40 bilayers. To assess the effectiveness to resist flame propagation on treated fabrics of different constructions the vertical flammability test (ASTM D6413-11) was used. In most cases char lengths of fabrics that passed the vertical flammability tests were less than 50% of the original length and after-flame and after-glow times were less than one second. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and limiting oxygen indices (LOI, ASTM D2863-09) were also used to test for flame retardancy. All untreated fabrics showed LOI values of about 19-21% oxygen in nitrogen. LOI values for the four types of treated fabrics were greater than 35% when add-on wt % values were between 11.1 – 18.6 wt %. In addition, structural characterizations of treated fabrics were studied by SEM methods.