Effect of softener on flame retardant finish of cotton fabrics

K. P. Tang, Chi Wai Kan, J. T. Fan, S. L. Tso

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Untreated cotton fabrics burn vigorously under ignition. The ignition temperature for cotton is around 400 °C while for wool and nylon is 600 and 530 °C, respectively [1]. Due to government regulations and general safety awareness, the demand for flame resistant fabrics is increasing. Generally, flame retardant fabrics can be used for children's sleepwear, home furnishing or work wears. These fabrics are designed to preserve the spreading speed of flames, increase the time available for the wearer to escape from a hazardous situation and avoid burn injury. Researchers have attempted to improve the flammability by optimizing the types of flame retardant agent or the finishing conditions. Despite the much research work carried out on flame-retardant cotton fabric, majority of the studies concentrated on the mechanical properties and the comfort aspect is largely neglected. To deal with these problems, here Pyrovatex CP New and modified DMDHEU (low formaldehyde) were used with various softeners under Pad-Dry-Curing process and these finishes were applied onto fabrics with conventional structure as well as the plant-structured design of similar weight. The water absorbency, comfortrelated and mechanical properties were measured. The result demonstrated that the addition of softener could remarkably improve the handle and fabric strength while no adverse effect was brought on flame retardant property in which softener "Turpex ACN New" is the optimum choice for both plain and plant-structured design. It also reveals that plant-structured fabrics got superior performance than the plain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFiber Society Spring 2013 Technical Conference
PublisherFiber Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Event2013 Spring Technical Conference of the Fiber Society - Geelong, VIC, Australia
Duration: 22 May 201324 May 2013


Conference2013 Spring Technical Conference of the Fiber Society
CityGeelong, VIC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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