Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

One-Pot, Bio-Inspired Coatings to Reduce the Flammability of Flexible Polyurethane Foams



Rick D. Davis, Yu-Chin Li, Michelle R. Gervasio, Yeon S. Kim


In this manuscript, natural materials were combined into a single “pot” to produce flexible, highly fire resistant, and bioinspired coatings on flexible polyurethane foam (PUF). In one step, PUF was coated with a fire protective layer constructed of a polysaccharide binder (starch or agar), a boron fire retardant (boric acid or derivative), and a dirt char former (montmorillonite clay). Nearly all coatings produced a 63% reduction in a critical flammability value, the peak heat release rate (PHRR). One formulation produced a 75% reduction in PHRR. This technology was validated in full-scale furniture fire tests, where a 75% reduction in PHRR was measured. At these PHRR values, this technology could reduce the fire threat of furniture from significant fire damage in and beyond the room of fire origin to being contained to the burning furniture. This flammability reduction was caused by three mechanisms - the gas-phase and condensed-phase processes of the boron fire retardant and the condensed-phase process of the clay. We describe the one-pot coating process and the impact of the coating composition on flammability.
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces


Fire retardant, boron, Polyurethane Foam, Biopolymers, One pot


Davis, R. , Li, Y. , Gervasio, M. and Kim, Y. (2015), One-Pot, Bio-Inspired Coatings to Reduce the Flammability of Flexible Polyurethane Foams, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces (Accessed May 24, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created February 27, 2015, Updated February 19, 2017