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Layered security: Carbon nanotubes promise improved flame-resistant coating
Date:1/15/2014

Davis opted to doctor the nanotubes themselves, borrowing a technique often used in cell culture to make DNA molecules stickier. The method attached nitrogen-containing moleculescalled amine groupsto the nanotube exteriors.

This step proved critical: The doctored nanotubes were uniformly distributed and clung tenaciously to the polymer layers above and below. As a result, the coating fully exploits the nanotubes' rapid heat-dissipating capability.

Gram for gram, the resulting coating confers much greater resistance to ignition and burning than achieved with the brominated flame retardants commonly used to treat soft furnishings today. As important, says Davis, a "protective char layer" forms when the nanotube-coated foam is exposed to extreme heat, creating a barrier that prevents the formation of melt pools.

"This kind of technology has the potential to reduce the fire threat associated with burning soft furniture in homes by about a third," Davis says.


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Contact: Mark Bello
mark.bello@nist.gov
301-975-3776
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

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