Developing shield of corn fabrics for enhancing the protection from flame

Corn fibre is developed from PolyLactic Acid (PLA). PLA (PolyLactic Acid) is a biodegradable material originally derived from renewable agricultural resources such as corn. PLA is a versatile polymer made from lactic acid, which in turn is derived from the fermentation of dextrose extracted from corn.

The water is then removed and converted to fibre form. Corn is being used as the dextrose source because of its abundance and low cost. Corn fibre is part of the new class of green textiles. Some technological analysis has shown that corn fibre is a kind of yogurt polymer.

The corn fibre has similar characteristics to polyester staple fibre (PSF) and has the lusture of silk and is less flammable. Its LOI % (26-35) is higher than other fibres such as Polyerster (20-22), Cotton (16-17), Wool (24-25), Rayon (17-19), and Nylon 6 (20-24). It also shows low CO2 and CO emission from burning. Moreover, it is less flammable, exquisite skin sensational, bacteria resistant and mildew-proof. Hence it can be regarded as an environmental-friendly new less flammable textile material.

As a result, the fabrics produced from corn fibre exhibit excellent low flammability (LOI 26+) and good hand touch because of intrinsic properties in corn. It can be widely used in outer coat for fire fighters, shirt, T shirt, jacket, trousers and dress. The intrinsic properties in fibre help in preventing the flame, bacteria, and UV rays. In order to achieve varied properties of fabric, use of various properties of corn fibres such as low flammability, Less CO2 & CO emission and smoke generation, antibacterial, good hand touch and drape etc. can be exploited.

The corn fibre and its fabrics are not popular in India and since the fibre has many intrinsic properties like less flammability, it can be used to develop new products by mixing it with other fibres such as bamboo, cotton, polyester etc. By making different blends of corn with other fibres, the properties of the resulting fabrics can be examined. The proposal has been submitted keeping in view the future export potential of flame retardant corn fibre fabrics and also the corn-based alternative could put a dent in our dependence on foreign oil.


ECO Friendly Flame Retardant Bio-plastic

In recent years use of reproducible biomass based materials has been gaining popularity. Among this trend is use of bioplastic especially composites with polylactic acid that are being used in daily products such as fibers and utensils as well as such durable products as electronic equipment and automobiles. Having said that, the wide spread success of bioplastics in manufacturing of PCs and other advnced electronic equipment rests on development of advanced bioplastics that are highly flame retardant, durable with a high level of moldability. In response to such market demand NEC made an announcement on development of an ECO friendly flame retardant bioplastic. The newly material Nucycle (TM) which is made mainly from biomass based polymer is expected to help on reducing both oil resource exhaustion as well as CO2 emission issues according to the company. The new material includes more than 75% of botanical organic element. The new material offers life cycle CO2 emission which is 50% of existing PC/ABS petroleum based plastic. The new flame retardant is free from halogenated flame retardant UL Standard V-0. NEC is planning to offer business PCs with this new bioplastcs within year 2010. (ref: Japan Technology Information)(

Brandposten “Fire Technology” magazine

The newsletter Brandposten contains useful information about testing, research and development in Fire Technology. It is published in 2 issues every year and can be downloaded in PDF-format.

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