Mixture of cotton varieties to produce non-flammable fabrics

Mixture of cotton varieties to produce non-flammable fabrics

Mixture of cotton varieties to produce non-flammable fabrics

Time series of 45° inclined flame test of MAGIC recombinant inbred lines (RIL) nonwoven fabrics with the lowest HRCs and highest HRCs. Each image is 5 seconds apart. The top series is a fabric made from RIL-225 which, like all untreated textiles produced from conventionally grown white cottons, was completely consumed by flame in approximately 15 seconds. The lower series is RIL-385, which is self-extinguishing. Credit: PLUS ONE (2023). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0278696

A team of researchers from the US Department of Agriculture discovered that cross-breeding varieties of cotton can produce new varieties that can be used to make non-flammable fabrics. In his article published in the open access journal PLUS ONEthe group describes the study of multiple crossbred varieties of flammable cotton to find new varieties with antiflammable properties.

Over the years, cotton has become a standard material for making garments that feel comfortable against the skin and do not cause irritation. Unfortunately, clothes made from cotton tend to burn quite easily and quickly, leading to injury if they catch fire. To reduce the problem, agents are added to reduce the flammability of cotton fabric. Unfortunately, these agents tend to be harmful to the environment, cause irritation and reduce comfort. Fabrics also sometimes lose their protection after several washes.

In this new study, the researchers noted that some brown varieties of cotton have flame retardant qualities, and wondered if some genetics might also be hidden in white varieties. To find out, they studied varieties that were crossed and contained certain flammability-related flavonoids found in brown varieties.

The USDA has been breeding and crossing cotton for many years, hoping to find new varieties with better characteristics than those currently in use. By studying the ones that have been developed, the researchers found 11 strains that they believed might offer what they were looking for. They tested each one by burning samples in their native form. They then chose the five that did best for further testing.

Credit: PLUS ONE (2023). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0278696

The next stage of testing involved creating cloth from each of the five strains they had chosen and attempting to set them on fire. They found that four of the five samples not only withstood the application of a flame, but extinguished it. The researchers also tested the fabrics they made to see if they had lost any of their desirable characteristics and found that they had not.

The researchers plan to continue their efforts, seeking to learn more about the genetics behind the non-flammable materials and to ensure that they continue to resist burning even after being washed and used many times.

More information:
Gregory N. Thyssen et al, Flame-resistant cotton lines generated by synergistic epistasis in a MAGIC population, PLUS ONE (2023). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0278696

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Citation: Blending Cotton Varieties to Produce Non-Flammable Fabrics (January 19, 2023) Accessed January 19, 2023 at https://phys.org/news/2023-01-varieties-cotton-non-flammable-fabrics. html

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