About the Multidisciplinary Seminar Program

Created in 1995, the Escola Tecnica Superior d'Enginyeria Quimica (ETSEQ) at Universitat Rovira i Virgili aims at becoming an international reference in chemical engineering education and research. The ETSEQ is located in an area that is socially and economically very dynamic, and that is home to one of the most important centers of chemical industry in southern Europe.

The Multidisciplinary Seminar Program is both the seminar series for faculty and researchers in the ETSEQ, and a mandatory class for its graduate students. The Program aims at inviting leading international researchers working on areas that are of interest to faculty and researchers in the School.

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Next seminar (May 6, 2016)

Surface Engineering methods for conferring flame retardancy to fabrics and foams (Giulio Malucelli)

Location: Sala de Graus, ETSEQ
Start time: 12 p.m.

Abstract:

Fabric/foam flammability is a surface-confined phenomenon: indeed, the fabric/foam surface represents the most critical region, along which the mass and heat transfers, responsible for fuelling the flame, are controlled and exchanged with the surroundings. More specifically, the heat, the fabric/foam surface is exposed to, is transferred to the bulk, from which volatile products of thermal degradation diffuse toward the surface and the gas phase, hence feeding the flame. As a consequence, the chemical and physical characteristics of the polymer surface considerably affect the ignition and combustion processes, as the surface influences the flux of combustible volatile products toward the gas phase.
In this context, it is possible to significantly change (and improve) the fire behavior of fabrics and foams by “simply” modifying their surface: one of the currently most effective approaches exploits the deposition of tailored coatings, able to slow down the heat and mass transfer phenomena occurring during the fire stages.
This talk reviews the current state of the art related to the design of inorganic, hybrid or organic flame retardant coatings, suitable for the fire protection of fabric/foam substrates. More specifically, the use of sol-gel and layer by layer methods is thoroughly discussed; then, some recent examples of flame retardant coatings are presented, showing their potential advances and their current limitations.

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