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Zinc oxide/Zinc sulfide nanostructures as flame retardant coatings

Zinc oxide/Zinc sulfide nanostructures as flame retardant coatings

Name:
Yiwei Wang

Department:
Chemistry

Abstract:
According to the most recent data available, fires cause approximately 1.3 million accidents annually that result in 3,257 deaths, 15,775 injuries and an estimated $11.6 billion in direct property losses. Flame-retardant materials play an increasingly important role in reducing or preventing damages caused by fires. Organo-halogen compounds, phosphorus compounds, nitrogen-based compounds and nanocomposites are among the different classes of fire retardants developed in the past several decades. In this study, we report that ZnO nanorods and ZnO/ZnS core/shell nanorods show promising behavior as flame-retardant materials when coated onto cotton fabrics. ZnO and ZnO/ZnS nanorods were nucleated and grown onto cotton materials using a multi-step hydrothermal synthesis. TEM and SEM were used to study the morphology of nanorods. The properties of the ZnO and ZnO/ZnS such as heat release rate, total smoke release and mass loss rate of the materials were tested using a cone calorimeter. During the combustion test, ZnO and ZnO/ZnS nanorods were able to reduce the heat release rate and total smoke release from 117.77 kW/m2 and 18.3 m2/m2 to about 70 kW/m2 and 6 m2/m2, respectively. At the end of the test, instead of burning into ash, ZnO and ZnO/ZnS nanorods coated cotton samples were able to maintain the shape and protect the aluminum sample holders from being burned through. The flame-retardant properties were confirmed by the test results.