Fire-resistant coating creates cotton that will not burn

Dr. Jaime Grunlan’s research into fire-resistant materials is featured in the November/December 2012 issue of Textile World magazine, a leading publication in the textiles industry.

The article highlights Grunlan’s development of a thin polymer coating that keeps fabric and polyurethane-foam-based furniture from going up in flames.
Grunlan, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and holder of the Gulf Oil/Thomas A. Dietz Career Development Professorship, works with polymer nanocomposites that have properties similar to those of metals and ceramics — conducting electricity, for instance — while maintaining properties of polymers, such as low density.

“We can now make cotton fabric that doesn’t burn at all,” Grunlan said. (Pictured right: Cotton fabric after a vertical flame test, where a flame touches the fabric for 12 seconds.)

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