Shielding effect to the flammable fibres offered by inherently flame retardant fibres

University essay from Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi

Abstract:  Flame retardant chemicals were used to make flammable fibres or fabrics flame retardant. Flame retardants protect the flammable material from fire by delaying or preventing the ignition process. The problem with flame retardants is unreliable durability when applied physically or bonded chemically on the surface of the fibre or fabric. This thesis project investigated the implementation of inherently flame retardant fibres as a shield form flame for flammable fibres. The most widely used flammable textiles fibres (cotton and polyester) were mixed with inherently flame retardant fibres (modacrylic and Lenzing FR) pairwise at fibre level for non-woven fabric and both fibre & yarn level for knitted fabric. The vertical flame test, where the fabric hung vertically and burned from the bottom, was used to characterise their burning behaviour. With the vertical flame test, it was found that flame shielding ability of inherently flame retardant fibres towards flammable fibres improves with an increasing proportion of inherently flame retardant fibres in the fabric. Also, fabric structure influences the shielding properties of the flame retardant fibres. A comparison between fibre and yarn level mixing for knitted fabric yarn level mixing was found to have better flame shielding properties. Thesis work points out the issue with flame retardant chemical and presents an alternative approach for conventional flame retardant.

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