An overview from the Fashion and Apparel Technology department of CET, India, assesses the need for textile flame retardancy, and summarises natural bio-based FRs and solutions with positive environmental profiles. Both natural and synthetic fibres can burn easily, and synthetic fibres pose specific dangers by melting and causing burns.
Textile fire performance is particularly important in applications such as furniture (to protect the foam or filling material from fire), transport and aircraft interiors, heat protective clothing and military applications. Developing new solutions for textile fire protection presented include nano FR application:
nanoparticle adsorption onto fibres (minerals such as hydrotalcite, titania, silica, cloisite, octapropylammonium POSS, carbon nano tubes, alumina silicate), LbL (layer-by-layer) nano-coatings of fibres combining negatively and positively charged minerals or polymers and sol-gel nano application processes. Natural materials used in nano-FR application include mineral clays, chitin, kaolin, phytic acid. Plant extracts presented as natural textile fibre flame retardants include cyclodextrin (plant derived cyclic polymer), banana pseudostem sap (BSP); spinach juice, whey extracts (from dairy industry), hydrophobins (produced by lamentous fungi) and DNA. The flame retardancy effect of these natural molecules results from their reaction with the textile fibre surface or from their natural content of phosphorus, nitrogen and minerals.
“Green Flame Retardants for Textiles”, A. Khandual, in Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes, Springer, 2016 http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-981-10-0245-8_6