Phosphate and nitrogenrich polyelectrolyte complex flame retardant treatment for cotton fleece Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractThe soft nap and deep pile that impart comfort and warmth to cotton fleece also amplify its flammability. Using ambient aqueous processing, an environmentally benign polyelectrolyte complex (PEC), consisting of poly(allylamine hydrochloride) and sodium hexametaphosphate, was deposited on cotton fleece. This treatment adds only 12.5% weight, reduces peak heat release by 68% and total heat release by 74%, and protects from fire via intumescence. Without treatment, fleece burns aggressively with long afterburn and afterglow times, leaving no residue. With the applied PEC, the fabric selfextinguishes within a few seconds and exhibits no afterglow. In addition, it withstands at least five simulated laundering cycles in alkaline detergent, maintaining a 57% reduction in fire growth capacity afterward. The original soft surface can be restored to the fleece by manual brushing. This simple and environmentally benign treatment provides an opportunity to effectively protect highly flammable textured cellulosic textiles in a safe way.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Applied Polymer Science

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, D. L., Cotton, S. M., Vest, N. A., Montemayor, M. D., & Grunlan, J. C.

complete list of authors

  • Smith, Dallin L||Cotton, Sidney M||Vest, Natalie A||Montemayor, Maya D||Grunlan, Jaime C

publication date

  • April 2024