Tech Zone

Consortium studies flame retardancy of plastics

Issue 2 and Volume 152.

Consortium studies flame retardancy of plastics Silicate-nanocomposites may yield some solutions to the flame retardancy issues surrounding certain plastics. This will be one area of study for the Flammability of Polymer-clay Nanocomposites Consortium, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The clay-nanocomposites group of plastic materials has clay plate-like particles, one nanometer (40 billionths of an inch) thick by a thousand nanometers in diameter, dispersed throughout the polymers involved. Research conducted to date has indicated that molecularly dispersing clay boosts flame retardancy in many polymers. A major objective of the research is to reduce the deaths, injuries, and property damage associated with fires involving synthetic fabrics found in furniture and carpeting, but the Consortium will also be concerned with other issues, according to Dr. Jeff Gilman of NIST. “In the pursuit of improved approaches to fire retarding polymers, a wide variety of concerns must be addressed in…

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