Nonflammable polyester fiber from company VLADPOLYTEX, a fire retardant modified with carbon materials for use in thermal and sound insulating construction materials, has passed the government's voluntary certification for fire safety. VLADPOLYTEX is realizing a project for commercial production of nonwoven materials from nonflammable PET fiber modified using a crazing technology. RUSNANO is one of the company's shareholders.
The company manufactures the materials from recycled plastic bottles. In doing so, it helps to resolve an acute problem for society-how to utilize the plastic bottles that make up so much of waste. In addition to improving the environment, insulating materials produced under the project have other advances of value to society: they do not throw off particles of dust; they have nearly 100 percent elasticity; they are impervious to mold and fungi; rodents do not nest in them; they have a useful life exceeding 50 years; and they do not burn or give off poisonous gases.
"The thermal insulation that VLADPOLYTEX produces from PET fiber has a set of advantages that is hard to match," notes RUSNANO Managing Director Dmitry Lisenkov. "The materials combine three types of insulation: heat, sound, and water. The products are simple to install and don't require any special training. Because of their energy saving qualities, the payback period on the materials is only two years to four years, whereas competing products require five years to seven year for payback. For these reasons, plus price and environmental advantages, we expect VLADPOLYTEX to capture a significant portion of the insulating materials market."
"Nonflammable materials of modified polyfiber are an ideal choice where particular attention must be paid to fire safety. They remain safe for humans and animals even if a fire occurs," VLADPOLYTEX General Director Alexander Bykov explains. "Our products may be used in textiles as well as in construction materials. In the future, we plan to produce warmth-retaining cloth from which protective clothing can be manufactured for, say, people working in natural disaster relief. We shall also produce pillow and mattress and quilt fillings that meet the highest standards of fire safety."
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET, PETP, polyester), a thermoplastic polymer in the polyester family, is one of the most widely used polyester plastics, found foremost in production of plastic containers. Polyfiber is a synthetic fiber formed by using a hot melt process with polyethylene terephthalate or one of its derivatives.
The most notably characteristic of polyfiber products from the VLADPOLYTEX project is that they are nonflammable. This is achieved by modifying the PET fibers with a fire retardant of particles that inhibit the burning process. Modification is done using a technology called polymer crazing.
In polymer crazing, the polymer forms a fibrillar-porous structure when the material is mixed in an adsorptive active medium using stress deformation. Crazing is effective in obtaining porous materials with final pore size of up to 90 nanometers, total pour content of up to 60 percent, and specific surface area exceeding 100 square meters per gram. The crazing technology accommodates rapid and successful introduction of various modifying additives, like the fire retardants, in the polymer structure.
Materials that the project produces have an admirably low heat transfer coefficient, about 0.029 W/(m.K)., nearly half that of glass and basalt thermal materials. Insulation from modified polyethylene terephthalate absorbs virtually no moisture. It has excellent vapor permeability, doesn't crumble, doesn't settle, is easy to mount, doesn't emit dust during installation or after, is low weight and highly durable. The VLADPOLYTEX project will produce three product groups:
- Thermal insulation of nonflammable, nonwoven material for exterior and interior use in homes and commercial and industrial buildings, heating mains, oil and gas pipelines, and transport
- Lighter thermal insulating material that can be used in protective clothing, having heat conductivity of 0.03 W/(m.K), and sound-absorption of 0.8 dB/m and ability to accommodate vibration protection and armored rubber
- Thermal and sound insulation of nonflammable, nonwoven material for exterior and interior use in homes and commercial and industrial buildings and transport, with heat conductivity of 0.035 W/(m.K) and sound-absorption of 0.88 dB/m.
RUSNANO was founded in March 2011 as an open joint stock company through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. RUSNANO's mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. The Government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in RUSNANO. Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and training for nanotechnology specialists, formerly conducted by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, has been entrusted to the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, a non-commercial fund also established through reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.
VLADPOLYTEX was founded in 2010 to establish production in Russia of nonflammable, nonwoven construction and insulation materials from PET fibers that are modified with fire retardants. Its production technology uses reclaimed plastic bottles and disposable cutlery as base material.