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Nanoparticles in Flame-Retardant Coatings for Flexible Polyurethane Foams: Effects on Flammability and Nanoparticle Release



Mauro Zammarano, Rick D. Davis, Yeon S. Kim, Richard H. Harris Jr., Marc R. Nyden, Jeffrey W. Gilman, Nasir M. Uddin


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.
Proceedings Title
5th International Seminar on Modern Polymeric Materials for Environmental Applications – MPM2013
Conference Dates
May 15-17, 2013
Conference Location
Cracow, -1


Nanoparticle, foam, layer-by-layer, flammability
Created May 15, 2013, Updated February 19, 2017