Textile flammability research since 1980 – Personal challenges and partial solutions

Horrocks, Richard ORCID: 0000-0003-1431-058X (2013) Textile flammability research since 1980 – Personal challenges and partial solutions. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 98 (12). pp. 2813-2824. ISSN 0141-3910

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Abstract

This paper reviews the changing textile flammability research themes within the author’s research group over the last 35 years and which reflect those of the academic and research communities often influenced by industrial and societal pressures. For instance, ignition studies undertaken in the early 1980s together with the effect of textile fabric structural variables reflected academic contemporaneous interests as well as those related to real hazards posed, for example, by nightwear fabrics. Also, work undertaken to study flame retardant mechanisms, especially on cotton substrates, reflected the need for commercial interests to more fully understand their chemical treatments largely developed during the 1960-1970 period. During the subsequent 1980 period, the ecotoxicological concerns regarding flame retardants in general started to develop which continue with even greater vigour at the present time. Thus research effort focused on developing low or zero formaldehyde treatments for cotton and alternatives to bromine-based flame retardants present in back-coatings applied to furnishing fabrics which also promoted interest in the study of novel intumescents. By the 1990s, the demonstration of the potential of nanocomposite polymers with improved fire performance raised the possibility of novel textile flame retardant developments with improved environmental sustainability. More recently, nanotechnological engineering of fibre surfaces to promote improved substrate flame retardancy has created a significant literature. In conclusion, it is evident that while most of this research has improved scientific knowledge, its translation into novel commercial opportunity has been more elusive and this will probably remain the case as we move into the next ten years or so where the environmental challenges of reducing real or apparent ecotoxicological properties of flame retardant textiles remain.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Textile, flammability, flame retardant, mechanism, intumescent, environment, nanotechnology
Divisions: University of Bolton Research Centres > Institute for Materials Research and Innovation
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2019 13:43
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2019 13:43
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2013.10.004
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/2084

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