Graphene Oxide as a Flame Retardant and Smoke Suppressant
William Blythe is well established as a supplier of flame retardants and smoke suppressants, which results in a specific interest within the team for graphene oxide research connected to this application area. A recent paper published in RSC Advances looked at the use of graphene oxide materials as flame retardants and smoke suppressants in flexible polyurethane foam (FPU).
FPU is often used in furniture to make it more comfortable, however the flammability of the material means that these items can lead to small fires spreading rapidly. This results in items containing FPU posing a significant threat in the instance of a fire.
Research using graphene oxide containing multilayer films on FPU to examine smoke suppression and flame retardation has led to interesting results. The paper focused on cone calorimetry as a test method to compare the materials and examined both graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide. The results obtained via TGA (thermogravimetric analysis) demonstrate a higher thermal stability for FPU coated with rGO compared to GO. This can be explained by considering the fact that GO would be converting to rGO in the test. When comparing to uncoated FPU, both the rGO and GO coated FPU samples showed a reduction in PHRR (peak heat release rate), peak SPR (smoke production rate) and TSR (total smoke release), indicating the films provide a positive physical barrier effect. The thickness of the coating is believed to be important because a thicker coating leads to a more “tortuous path” for the gaseous byproducts to pass through, slowing down their progress.
This application not only holds special interest within the team at William Blythe, but it is also another example of how diverse the field of graphene oxide application development is. If you are interested in using graphene oxide in your research, please let us know and we would be happy to discuss which form is most likely to suit your research.
Reference: RSC Adv. 2016,6, 114304-114312