Nano Elements of Nature: Fire


WATCH OUT! That is what is usually heard when someone’s clothes is unintentionally close to a fire flame of a candle or a cooker for example. Very soon, such instances would go unnoticed; believe it or not, scientists have managed, applying nanotechnology, to produce fire-resistant fabrics.

Dr. Jaime Grunlan, Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, developed a thin polymer* coating that could keep cotton clothing from going up in flames, eventfully managing to produce cotton fabric that does not burn at all.

The developed technology involves covering every fiber of a fabric with a nano-thin coating of two polymers, producing a protective carbon foam coating when exposed to high temperatures. This breakthrough can revolutionize cotton industry; it can be used for making children’s clothes, laboratory uniforms, firemen uniforms, and more.

These fabrics can also be used in making camping and military tents, where a fire in a single tent can wipe out an entire camp. Fire-resistant applications of nanotechnology do not stop here; a lot is mentioned about fire-resistant paints, fire-resistant foams, as used in making sofas and theater chairs, and even fire-resistant glass.


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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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