Nanoparticles can effectively reduce polymer flammability; however, the impact of nanoparticles on environmental and health safety is still unclear. The purpose of this study is twofold: (1) to develop and investigate the effect of nanoparticle-rich-coatings on the flammability of polyurethane foam, and (2) to establish suitable techniques for measuring the release of the nanoparticles from the foam under simulated end-use stresses. The nanoparticle-containing coatings were prepared by Layer-by-Layer self-assembly and included sodium montmorillonite, multi-wall-carbon-nanotubes or carbon nanofibers. The carbon-nanofiber-coated foams showed the highest reduction in flammability (40 % reduction in peak of heat release rate with 1.6 % by mass of nanoparticle) and out-performed 17 commercial flame retardants commonly used in polyurethane foams (31 % reduction with 20 % additive in the best formulation). The nanoparticle release was investigated by exposing the coated foams to simulated chewing and wear-and-tear. The average release values ranged between 0.0003 % and 0.50 % by mass, as referred to the total nanoparticle content. The amount of nanoparticles released by simulated chewing was an order of magnitude greater than from wear-and-tear. Clay yielded lower release values than carbon nanofibers and multi-walled nanotubes.
5th International Seminar on Modern Polymeric Materials for Environmental Applications MPM2013
May 15-17, 2013
Nanoparticle, foam, layer-by-layer, flammability