DNA: a novel, green, natural flame retardant and suppressant for cotton!!

A team of researchers working at the Polytechnic University of Turin in Italy has found that applying herring sperm DNA to cotton fabric caused it to be resistant to burning or catching on fire. In their paper published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, the team describes how they applied the sperm as a coating to a piece of cotton test fabric and tried to set it on fire, to no avail…


For the first time, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from herring sperm has been employed as a novel flame retardant system for enhancing the thermal stability and flame retardant properties of cotton fabrics. Indeed, DNA could be considered an intrinsically intumescent flame retardant as it contains the three main components that are usually present in an intumescent formulation, namely: the phosphate groups, able to produce phosphoric acid, the deoxyribose units acting as a carbon source and blowing agents (upon heating a (poly)saccharide dehydrates forming char and releasing water) and the nitrogen-containing bases (guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine) that may release ammonia. The flammability tests in horizontal configuration have clearly shown that after two applications of a methane flame for 3 s, the DNA-treated cotton fabrics do not burn at all. Furthermore, when exposed to an irradiative heat flux of 35 kW m−2, no ignition has been observed. Finally, an LOI value of 28% has been achieved for the treated fabrics as opposed to 18% of the untreated fabric.




Non toxic flame retardant PP-fibre will soon be reality

Mistra Innovation funds Paxymers project for halogen-free flame-retardant polypropylene fibres. The green flame retardant was selected for financing in the tough competition with a total project value of 5 million SEK. The project aims to improve environmental and functional parameters of flame retarded PP-fibres. The project will be conducted with five industrial partners and the University of Borås and Swerea/IVF.

“The Market is looking for alternatives to the dominating polyester fibre especially to achieve an improved environmental footprint. Polypropylene has been a material of interest due to its good recyclability and could also result in cost and weight reductions.” says Amit Paul MD of Paxymer and project leader “The Project group covers almost the entire value chain for fibre and a number of highly interesting applications. Our goal is clear: a competitively priced, high performing, flame retarded PP-fibre with a minimized environmental footprint.”

PP-fibre use has shown strong growth during the last years and it is projected to continue. Heat stabilization and self-extinguishing properties of PP as well as further functionalization is interesting for a number of applications. Industries where products are desired are: transportation, automotive, industrial, furniture, protective clothing and outdoor apparel.

The industrial partners in the project cover most of the supply chain and are well diversified in their applications.

•          Saab Baracuda – defence contractor

•         Borgstena group – fibre applications for transportation, office and home applications

•          FOV – Swedish specialty weaver

•          SKS – melt spinning of mono filaments

•          Klättermusen – premium outdoor apparel and innovator within green materials management.

The project will run over 2 years and the final goal is to have a compound on the market that is verified in the industrial scale and that meets tough environmental demands and flame retardant standards. The market is looking for alternatives to the widely used polyester fibre in order to achieve improved environmental footprint, lightweight applications and one-material concepts to improve recyclability of for instance cars or outdoor apparel.   Source: http://www.mynewsdesk.com

Eurofillers 2013

10th anniversary meeting will be organized in Bratislava, Slovakia on August 25 – 29, 2013. The focus and scope of fillers have gone through considerable changes during last years, since the interest of the industry as well as academia partly shifted from traditional fillers to other heterogeneous systems. Bio- or natural fillers reinforcement composites find application and are still interesting for development. Downsizing of fillers from micro- to nano-dimensions is bringing new possibility of combining improvement of physical-mechanical properties of polymer materials with special functionalities of nanofillers. New trends and application of filled polymeric materials will be also presented in the conference.

Final Scientific Programme for download

Eurofillers 2013 banner.tiff

Synthesis of functionalized α-zirconium phosphate modified with intumescent flame retardant and its application in PLA

Recently published article: Polymer Degradation and Stability, Volume 98, Issue 9, September 2013.


A novel functionalized α-zirconium phosphate (F-ZrP) modified with intumescent flame retardant was synthesized by co-precipitation method and characterized. Poly (lactic acid) (PLA)/F-ZrP nanocomposites were prepared by melt blending method. The thermal stability and combustion behavior of PLA/F-ZrP nanocomposites were investigated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), limiting oxygen index (LOI), vertical burning test (UL-94), scanning electronic microscopy (SEM), and cone calorimeter test (CCT). The results showed that the addition of flame retardant F-ZrP slightly affect PLA’s thermal stability, but significantly improve the flame retardancy of PLA composites. In comparison with neat PLA, the LOI value of PLA/F-ZrP was increased from 19.0 to 26.5, and the UL-94 rating was enhanced to V-0 as the loading of F-ZrP at 10%. SEM results suggested the introduction of F-ZrP in the PLA system can form compact intumescent char layer during burning. All these results showed that the F-ZrP performed good flame retardancy for PLA.

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