Thesis Details


Thesis Title: Durable and Environmentally Friendly Flame Retardants for Textile Materials
Thesis Author: Nathalie Andrae
Abstract: Flame retardants are critical to textiles by impeding and suppressing flame resulting in protection to both life and property. However, over the years the environmental and health concerns surrounding the use of halogenated flame retardants has increased. The resulting legislation and debates have made it important to look for alternatives. The main objective of the research was to find suitable substitutions for brominated flame retardants on synthetic textiles. The effectiveness of the treatment to reduce char length and the effect of the treatments on the physical properties (i.e. stiffness, tear strength) of the substrates were analyzed. The research focuses on the application of non-halogenated flame retardants applied to four synthetic substrates: a polyester woven, a polyester/nylon nonwoven, a nylon knit, and an acrylic woven. Ten commercially available, alternative flame retardants, nine of which were phosphorus based, were padded onto the substrates. A vertical burn test was applied, and the resulting char lengths were used to identify the most promising flame retardants. The selected flame retardants were reapplied and the samples underwent 10 and 25 wash cycles. The vertical burn test was used to determine the effectiveness and durability of the flame retardants after the various wash intervals. The ICP analysis method was used to establish the amount of phosphorus available in the flame retardant chemicals and on the treated substrates. The research found that several phosphorus based treatments were effective for the polyester substrate and that one treatment was effective on nylon. Statistical analysis demonstrated that the brominated flame retardant used to treat the polyester statistically worked better than several of the non-halognated treatments at the low wash cycles but not at the high wash cycles. The non-halogenated flame retardants padded on the acrylic and nonwoven substrates were unsuccessful in reducing the char length.