Clay-Filled Polyelectrolyte Complex Nanocoating for Flame-Retardant Polyurethane Foam. Academic Article uri icon


  • Polyurethane foam (PUF) is a highly flammable material typically used for cushioning in furniture and automobiles. A polyelectrolyte complex coating containing polyethylenimine, ammonium polyphosphate, and halloysite clay was applied to PUF using a two-step deposition process in an attempt to reduce its flammability. Electron microscopy confirms that this conformal thin film preserves the porous morphology of the foam and adds 20% to the foam's weight. Directly exposing coated foam to a butane torch flame yields a 73% residue after burning while keeping the internal structure of the foam intact. Cone calorimetry reveals a 52.5% reduction in the peak heat release rate (pkHRR) of the clay-based coating compared to that of the uncoated foam. This significant reduction in pkHRR and preservation of the porous structure of the foam highlights the utility of this easy-to-deposit, environmentally benign treatment to reduce the foam's flammability.

published proceedings

  • ACS Omega

author list (cited authors)

  • Palen, B., Kolibaba, T. J., Brehm, J. T., Shen, R., Quan, Y., Wang, Q., & Grunlan, J. C.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Palen, Bethany||Kolibaba, Thomas J||Brehm, Jacob T||Shen, Ruiqing||Quan, Yufeng||Wang, Qingsheng||Grunlan, Jaime C

publication date

  • March 2021