Flame retardancy was imparted in cellulosic cotton textile using banana pseudostem sap (BPS), an eco-friendly natural product. The extracted sap was made alkaline and applied in pre-mordanted bleached and mercerized cotton fabrics. Flame retardant properties of both the control and the treated fabrics were analysed in terms of limiting oxygen index (LOI), horizontal and vertical flammability. Fabrics treated with the non-diluted BPS were found to have good flame retardant property with LOI of 30 compared to the control fabric with LOI of 18, i.e., an increase of 1.6 times. In the vertical flammability test, the BPS treated fabric showed flame for a few seconds and then, got extinguished. In the horizontal flammability test, the treated fabric showed no flame, but was burning only with an afterglow with a propagation rate of 7.5 mm/min, which was almost 10 times lower than that noted with the control fabric. The thermal degradation and the pyrolysis of the fabric samples were studied using a thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and the chemical composition by FTIR, SEM and EDX, besides the pure BPS being characterized by EDX and mass spectroscopy. The fabric after the treatment was found to produce stable natural khaki colour, and there was no significant degradation in mechanical strengths. Based on the results, the mechanism of imparting flame retardancy to cellulosic textile and the formation of natural colour on it using the proposed BPS treatment have been postulated.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.