Federal-Mogul Corp. has introduced “polyethylene terephthalate yarn” to meet both halogen-free flame-retardant regulations and the "no flaming drip" requirement for materials. The upshot, said the company, is the material eliminates both black smoke and toxic gases if it catches fire.
Flame-retardant materials are used to delay the spread of fire, but unlike Federal-Mogul's polyethylene terephthalate yarn, theytypically contain halogenated substances that emit thick black smoke and toxic gases, noted Ramzi Hermiz, senior vp for Federal-Mogul Vehicle Safety and Protection
He said polyethylene terephthalate yarn meets many of the processing and functional requirements for textiles used in interior vehicle trim and in wiring harness insulation, and have applications in vehicles for land, water and air, he said.
"We see a substantial global market for such flame retardant materials," Hermiz said. "With a growing public transport infrastructure around the world, as well as the potential for its use in buildings and other stationary applications, we believe that adoption of this new material technology could improve world-class safety standards and help save lives."
The “yarn” is made by combining two carefully selected melamine-based flame retardant materials. As the materials decompose, said Hermiz, they absorb heat, thus cooling the adjacent burning material and forming a “char” that prevents the formation of burning drips. Constituents of the new material also vaporize, reducing the surface temperature by diluting the oxygen that would otherwise feed the fire.
Extrusion of the material into a continuous monofilament thread is made possible by a combination of proprietary additives and highly engineered compounding and extrusion processes, Hermiz noted. He added that Federal-Mogul is now developing commercialization plans to enable volume manufacture of fabric made from the new material.