Novel Bicomponent Functional Fibers with Sheath/Core Configuration Containing Intumescent Flame-Retardants for Textile Applications

Muhammad Maqsood, Gunnar Seide*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The objective of this study is to examine the effect of intumescent flame-retardants (IFR's) on the spinnability of sheath/core bicomponent melt-spun fibers, produced from Polylactic acid (PLA) single polymer composites, as IFR's have not been tested in bicomponent fibers so far. Highly crystalline PLA-containing IFR's was used in the core component, while an amorphous PLA was tested in the sheath component of melt-spun bicomponent fibers. Ammonium polyphosphate and lignin powder were used as acid, and carbon source, respectively, together with PES as a plasticizing agent in the core component of bicomponent fibers. Multifilament fibers, with sheath/core configurations, were produced on a pilot-scale melt spinning machine, and the changes in fibers mechanical properties and crystallinity were recorded in response to varying process parameters. The crystallinity of the bicomponent fibers was studied by differential scanning calorimetry and thermal stabilities were analyzed by thermogravimetric analysis. Thermally bonded, non-woven fabric samples, from as prepared bicomponent fibers, were produced and their fire properties, such as limiting oxygen index and cone calorimetry values were measured. However, the ignitability of fabric samples was tested by a single-flame source test. Cone calorimetry showed a 46% decline in the heat release rate of nonwovens, produced from FR PLA bicomponent fibers, compared to pure PLA nonwovens. This indicated the development of an intumescent char by leaving a residual mass of 34% relative to the initial mass of the sample. It was found that the IFRs can be melt spun into bicomponent fibers by sheath/core configuration, and the enhanced functionality in the fibers can be achieved with suitable mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3095
Number of pages19
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • bicomponent fibers
  • intumescent flame-retardants
  • nonwovens
  • cone calorimetry
  • FIRE
  • PLA

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