Clay and Crab Shells Could Replace Toxic Flame Retardants
Unlike BFRs, which chemically disrupt a fire that has already begun, this coating is designed to prevent ignition, Grunlan explained. Chitosan between the clay layers does flame up briefly, but the clay quickly “collapses,” he said. “The polymer gets eaten out by heat and fire initially, and what’s left behind is a layer of clay-rich coating which acts as a heat barrier.”
The coating requires use of nano-scale clay particles, which could raise toxicity concerns, but Grunlan said the clay nanoparticles are created and bound within water and should not be breathable during manufacture or after application. His team is also testing other thinly layered polymers as a flame-retardant coating for fabric.
Melton, P. (2011, October 5). Clay and Crab Shells Could Replace Toxic Flame Retardants. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/newsbrief/clay-and-crab-shells-could-replace-toxic-flame-retardants