Method to Prepare and Apply Flame-retardant Coating Composed of Polyurethane, Isopropyl Alcohol and Magnesium Hydroxide Suspension


Invention Summary:

In the past, fire proofing plastic involved embedding flame retardant particles directly into the resin matrix. The technique is fine for materials which are not meant to bear loads. However, the amount of flame-retardant particles needed to be effective in higher mass objects is problematic do to the disruption of the networks within a plastic. Therefore, embedded particles are suitable for thinner products, for example casings for electronics and dash boards for cars. However, for structural applications of plastic a different approach must be considered to reduce the threat of fire. Because fire is a surface phenomenon, coatings that sufficiently adjust a surface’s characteristics in favor of fire resistance are important. The coating represents the only barrier between the plastic fuel and a possible fire source; it must remain effective throughout the fire; delaying ignition of the plastic; and hindering propagation.

Researchers at Rutgers have applied basic chemistry to create a fire retardant coating that is both inexpensive, easily applied and remains rigid even during intense heat. The technology relies on Magnesium Hydroxide which releases water molecules during decomposition similar to  other flame retardants. This technology goes beyond the traditional materials used as it allows the material to be applied as an aerosol and is made of relatively common materials which are known to be fairly safe.

Market Applications:

Heat Flux and Fire Protection Coating

Advantages:

  • Relatively inexpensive materials
  • Mixture forms many hairline cracks (<10 microns thick) which restricts dripping when applied to thermoplastic materials
  • Minute cracks relieve stresses caused by hardening and shrinking
  • Large variety of surfaces including polyethylene, wood, stone, metal, ceramics, etc.
  • Can be aerosolized

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Issued US 7,851, 536 B2; 8,048,486 B2, Nationalized PCT

Rutgers ID: 2006-010
Category(s):
Physical Sciences
Materials
Contact:
Zolt Pukanecz
732-374-6505
zolt.pukanecz@rutgers.edu
Inventors:
Thomas Nosker
Patrick Nosker
Mark Mazur
Keywords:
Coatings
Materials Science