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Nano-reinforced fire shielding polymer foams

Flame reactionFlame retardancyPolymer foams

Introduction

This invention deals with an innovatory solution for the production of flame resistant polymer foams. The foams self-extinguish after exposure to a small flame, show no ignition or very low heat release rates during forced combustion tests and can withstand the penetration of a flame, while maintaining thermal insulation.

Technical features

The invention consists in the deposition of a nanostructured coating on the surface of the foam. The coating is deposited from aqueous suspensions containing nanoparticles, polyelectrolytes and inorganic salts. The add-on, composition and structure of the deposited coating can be easily tuned by controlling the process parameters. The produced foams maintain their original open cell nature and the deformability typical of polymeric foams. a self-extinguishing behavior is achieved during flammability tests (in horizontal and vertical configuration) while no ignition or very low heat release rates were observed during forced combustion test by cone calorimetry. In addition, treated foams can block the penetration of a flame (150W) focalized on the surface of the foam and achieve through thickness temperature gradients greater than 400 °C/cm.

Possible Applications

  • Upholstered furniture and packaging for transports and buildings;
  • Soft seals;
  • Soundproofing in buildings (theatres/cinemas, public rooms) and industrial (engine compartments, compressors ..) applications.

Advantages

  • Water-borne, tunable and sustainable process;
  • Can treat any open cell substrate;
  • Unprecedented fire resistance performances;
  • Unaltered open cell structure;
  • Lightness and deformability.