Flame Retardants Finishes | Mechanisms of Flame Retardancy

Flame Retardants Finishes

Mustaque Ahammed Mamun
Department of Textile Engineering
Dhaka University of Engineering & Technology (DUET)
Cell: +8801723300703
Email: mamuntex09@gmail.com

Flame Retardants Finishes 
Flame-retardant finishes provide textiles with an important performance characteristic.
  • Protection of consumers from unsafe apparel
  • Firefighters and emergency personnel require protection
  • Floor coverings, upholstery and drapery protection
  • The military
  • The airline industry
Mechanisms of Flame Retardancy

Combustion: is an exothermic process that requires three components,
  • Heat
  • Oxygen
  • Suitable fuel.
Flame-retardant Chemistry
The synergistic effect of antimony comes from the volatility of antimony trihalides and the effectiveness of antimony compounds in scavenging free radicals over a broad temperature range (for example 245–565 °C).

Flame Retardants for Cellulose
Non durable:
  1. Inorganic salts have long been known to provide flame retardancy on cellulosic material that will not be exposed to water, rain or perspiration.
  2. The French chemist Gay-Lussac proposed a borax and ammonium sulfate treatment as a flame retardant for cotton in 1820.
  3. Today, a mixture of boric acid and borax is still an effective flame retardant for cotton at ~ 10 % solids add-on.
  4. Ammonium salts of strong acids, especially phosphoric acid (P/N synergism) are particularly useful as nondurable flame retardants for cellulose. Example:

1. The most successful durable flame retardants for cellulose are based on
  • Phosphorous- and nitrogen-containing chemical systems .
  • That can react with the fibre or form crosslinked structures on the fibre.
2. The key ingredient of one of these finishes is
  • Tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)phosphonium chloride (THPC),
  • Made from phosphine, formaldehyde and hydrochloric acid 


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