November 16, 2017

Nanotechnology and bio-inspired flame retardants

 

Existing lightweight materials (expanded polystyrene sandwiched between steel panels, wood-plastic composites and high-performance concrete with polymeric blends) create fire hazards due to the high flammability of the embedded polymers. Novel strategies to combine nanoparticles with existing flame retardants through nano-filter technology have the ability to effectively control the thermal degradation process and significantly enhance the flame retardant properties of polymers. Recently, studies on the use of bio-inspired flame retardants such as polydopamine, bio-macromolecules proteins (whey proteins, caseins, hydrophobins) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) on test samples have demonstrated remarkable flame retardant or even flame suppressant features. Within this Training Centre, the critical challenge is to investigate appropriate processing techniques to up-scale this new nanotechnology and bio-inspired flame retardants to produce novel eco-friendly and durable fire retardants.