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Quantification of Nanoparticle Release from Polymer Nanocomposite Coatings due to Environmental Stressing



Yeon S. Kim, Nasir M. Uddin, Marc R. Nyden, Richard H. Harris Jr., Savelas A. Rabb, Rick D. Davis


Certain engineered nanoparticles (ENP) reduce the flammability of components used in soft furnishings (mattresses and upholstered furniture). Most commonly these ENPs are montmorillonite clay (MMTs), multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNTs) and carbon nanofiber (CNFs). The soft furnishing components are barrier fabrics (BF) and flexible polyurethane foams (PUF). However, because of the ENPs’ small size and ability to interact with biological molecules, these fire retardant ENPs could pose a health and environmental risks if they are released during the life cycle of the soft furnishing. Quantifying the release amounts of these ENPs under normal end-use circumstances would provide a basis for assessing their health and environmental impact. In this manuscript, we report on our efforts to identify suitable methodologies for quantifying the release of MMTs, MWCNTs, and CNFs from thin films/coatings applied to the surfaces of BF and PUF. The ENPs released in simulated chewing and mechanical stressing experiments were collected in aqueous solution and quantified using Ultraviolet-Visible and inductively coupled plasma–optical emission spectroscopy. The microstructures of the released ENPs were characterized using scanning electron microscopy. We believe the reported methodology and results will provide important milestones to estimate the impact and toxicity of the ENP release during the life cycle of the nanocomposites.
Environmental Science & Technology


nano particles, release of nano particle, simulated stressing, Flame retardant coating, Layer-by- layer assembly


Kim, Y. , Uddin, N. , Nyden, M. , Harris, R. , Rabb, S. and Davis, R. (2015), Quantification of Nanoparticle Release from Polymer Nanocomposite Coatings due to Environmental Stressing, Environmental Science & Technology, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created December 8, 2015, Updated March 27, 2017