Abstract

Rapidly growing trends in flame retardant coatings demand environmentally sustainable advancements in coating compositions. Non-halogenated water-based flame retardant coatings can address these concerns. These coatings allow for low flammability, low smoke density and low toxicity. Life Cycle Analysis suggests that these coatings can improve environmental impact by reducing global warming potential while showing superior performance and durability. This coating solution can offer significant application, safety and environmental advantages that reduce total ownership costs and increase structural protection during fire events.

Introduction

Fire is the biggest threat for the crews in aircraft, ships, submarines, and land vehicles. As a result of such threats there have been use of fire/flame retardants coatings increased exponentially to curb economic and social consequences of fire [1]. There are various types of coatings available to fight against the fire. Two classes of fire protection technologies are being used currently, 1) Fire retardant and 2) Fire resistant. Fire retardant coatings are passive fire protection coatings where such coatings can slow down the spread of the flames allowing more time for evacuation and firefighting. Fire resistant coatings typically inhibiting the flame penetration or do not ignite upon in contact with fire [2].

When it comes to flame retardant coatings, various chemistries have been used in the coatings formulation to provide this retardancy from fire. Various flame retardant additives have been used such as, organophosphorus compounds, halogenated compounds, minerals such as Aluminum trihydrate, magnesium hydroxide, etc. Also, selection of polymers plays important roles in achieving the flame retardancy. Selection of polymers can be based on its mechanism to either insulate the incoming flame and prevent further spreading of the flame or based on the energy received by the flame, the polymer will chemically inhibit the flame spread.

MIL-PRF-24596B Formula 25A (F25A) is the flame retardant, halogenated, coating approved for use in interior habitable spaces aboard US Naval vessels. Halogenated compounds recently have come under heavy scrutiny due to their toxicity, specially HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) which have persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic characteristics [3]. In this paper, the physical performance and flame properties results obtained on three colors of this new water-based flame retardant latex (WBFR) as per MIL-PRF-24596B Amendment 1 [3] document are discussed.

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