Flame retardation of polyester–cotton fabrics

A new study portrays the facile construction of phosphorous acid-modified chitosan/montmorillonite coatings for highly efficient flame retardation of polyester–cotton fabrics

Image source: thommas68 - Pixabay (symbol image). Effective fire protection is an important task for many coatings.

Chitosan (CS) has been used to form flame-retardant coatings containing clays and nanoparticles. However, further improving the flame-retardant efficiency of the system remains a challenge. In this work, we developed a type of polyelectrolyte complex coating (PCM) using H3PO3 protonated CS and montmorillonite for highly efficient flame retardation of polyester–cotton fabrics.

Superior flame retardancy

The PCM coatings were built on the fabric surface by blading coating, in which H3PO3 presented in the form of salts via ionic interactions with CS. With 13 wt% add-ons of the PCM, the coated fabrics (PCM-13) presented a limiting oxygen value reaching 64.3 %, and easily self-extinguished in the vertical flammability test. In the cone calorimetry test, PCM-13 presented reductions in peak heat release rate, total heat release, and total smoke production of 49 %, 65 %, and 59 %, respectively. PCM-13 exhibited good laundering durability and maintained superior flame retardancy even after 50 washing cycles.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 184, November 2023.

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