Flammability is a severe limitation for electronics, transportation vehicles, buildings, furniture and clothing articles. ISL's phosphorus-based FR materials can be incorporated into fabrics used in apparel, protective clothing, curtains, drapes, upholstery, bedding, carpets, tents and transportation gear (seat and wall coverings, belts, etc) for NASA and the industrial/commercial sectors. FR garments are used by firefighters, electrical workers, especially foundry workers, and military personnel. Uniforms for firefighters and high-risk military crew commonly utilize Nomex or other high performance fibers. The ability to provide the military with cost-effective alternatives would be significant. Because currently, these materials are only utilized for soldiers engaged in specialized missions at a high risk of catastrophic fire injury. ISL's FRECLO technology would meet this need. ISL's nonhalogenated FR materials will also have application as treatments for paper (e.g., stocks, bonds, wills, etc.), coatings or fillers for structural and electrical components.
NASA's vision for the future focuses on missions beyond the Earth's orbit to Mars and throughout the Solar System. This vision will involve long duration, manned missions for which durable, easily customizable, and non-toxic FR clothing will be very important. While inherently-nonflammable fabrics are available in the marketplace, they do not offer the desired breathability, comfort, safety, ease of customization, and wardrobe flexibility to satisfy everyday needs of NASA astronauts. NASA's Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) division is actively searching for new technologies to produce crew clothing to meet the following requirements: (1) Sufficient comfort and breathability for everyday use in all types of clothing pieces, and (2) Ease of customization to permit creation of clothing with various colors, textures and weights for individual preferences of the crew, and (3) Resistance to multiple cycles of machine washing and drying, which may be required for long-duration missions. The FR treatments being optimized in this project aim to satisfy these needs. FR-treated fabrics also have potential applications in upholstery, bedding, and other textiles requiring low flammability for use in space habitats and exploratory vehicles.