Cheap Way Found to Fireproof Canvas
Following five years of research, the Rureau of Chemistry and Soils. U. S. Department of Agriculture, has succeeded in developing an inexpensive, weather-resistant treatment which fire-proofs canvas.
While the process at present can be used only with factory equipment, Dr. Martin Leatherman. who has carried on the experiments, hopes that it can be developed for home use and applied as a paint. It is believed that with further research the process can be improved upon and the cost further reduced, which will make tor greater use of canvas. Public service patents have been obtained for the different methods of applying the treatment so that anyone may use them.
While the work on fireproofing canvas was primarily intended to reduce fire risks on farms where canvas is used to protect machinery and crops from the weather, it will have a wider application. The fact that canvas is combustible has been one of the drawbacks to its use for awnings and temporary shelters.
The development of weather-resistant, fireproofing treatment for fabrics is of importance to the Government itself, particularly in connection with national defense. Both the Army and the Navy use great quantities of canvas.
Dr. Leatherman believes this fireproofing treatment could be used on fabrics other than canvas. He suggests that it might be applied to special open weave cloth which is used to shade tobacco in Connecticut and for tobacco-plant beds in the South. Any fabric, he says, which has a cellulose base can be fireproofed by the process.