Technology

This clay plant coating is able to save things from fire.

Many home furniture like cabinets and sofascovered with fire retardant material. Unfortunately, some of them emit toxic fumes, so researchers are constantly looking for an environmentally friendly replacement, which does not harm human and animal health. It seems that the team from Texas came up with a material that is completely made up of this requirement, which is made from plants and tiny plates of clay.

The material is made from an aqueous solution andconsists of several layers. This solution consists of two important ingredients: fibers made from plant cell walls and tiny plates of vermiculite clay. When the mixture dries, it turns into a thin transparent film, in which the plant fibers and clay plates form a brick-like structure.

This is non-flammable and not oxygen permeable.The material fully protects the objects under it. To prove this, the researchers covered them with polyurethane foam, which is often used in the manufacture of cushions for sofas. When exposed to fire, the coated material practically did not heat up - the vegetative-clay protective layer took over the entire blow. When this layer was removed, the polyurethane foam immediately melted.

According to study leader JaimeGrunlan, this coating also reduces the concentration of vapors that increase burning. At the moment, researchers want to improve the material, and are considering the possibility of its commercialization. Perhaps in the near future this material will cover new models of chairs and sofas.

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