Cotton Fleece Fabric
The high flammability of cotton fleece makes it necessary to apply a flame retardant system on cotton fleece so that it can meet the federal regulation ‘Standard for the Flammability of Clothing Textiles’ (16 CFR 1610). The objective of this research was to reduce the flammability of cotton fleece using the phosphorus-containing maleic acid oligomers (PMAO) synthesized by aqueous free radical polymerization of maleic acid. We found that PMAO can be bound to cotton fleece by esterifying with cotton cellulose with sodium hypophosphite as the catalyst. Both the 45∘ flammability and limiting oxygen index data indicated that the treatment of cotton using PMAO reduced the flammability of cotton fleece. The micro-scale combustion calorimetric data revealed that PMAO reduced the peak heat release rate and heat release capacity of the treated cotton woven fabric. The cotton fleece treated with PMAO/NaH2PO2 passed the federal flammability test (16 CFR Part 1610) and achieved ‘Class 1’ flammability. The PMAO bound to cotton was durable to multiple home laundering cycles. The treated fleece also showed high strength retention with little change in fabric whiteness. The use of triethanolamine as an additive modestly enhanced the performance of PMAO with no significant changes in fabric physical properties. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.