Carbon Nanotube Multilayer Nanocoatings Prevent Flame Spread on Flexible Polyurethane Foam Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim In an effort to protect polyurethane foam (commonly used as cushioning in upholstered furniture) from fire using environmentally benign chemistries, nanocomposite thin films are deposited using water-based solutions of cationic- and anionic-stabilized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The open-celled foam is coated using layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly to produce uniform protective layers up to 600 nm thick, comprised of cationic polyethylenimine modified with pyrene (PEI-Py), anionic poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), and MWCNT. Film thickness is found to rely heavily on the PAA-stabilized MWCNT solution. Coatings of only six [PEI-Py/PAA+MWCNT] bilayers (BL) show tremendous reductions in peak heat release rate (up to 67%) and total smoke release (up to 80%) for the polyurethane foam. This same coating significantly improves the performance of the polyurethane when exposed to horizontal and vertical flame tests. With 9 BL, the foam successfully withstands a vertical burn test, self-extinguishing immediately after removal of the test flame. These dramatic reductions in foam flammability are unprecedented and are attributed to the protective nature of the carbon-based char formed from the coating that acts as a protective barrier. (Figure presented.) .

author list (cited authors)

  • Holder, K. M., Cain, A. A., Plummer, M. G., Stevens, B. E., Odenborg, P. K., Morgan, A. B., & Grunlan, J. C.

citation count

  • 27

publication date

  • June 2016