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Using DNA as a flame-retardant coating


A novel approach to creating flame-retardant materials has been taken by a team of scientists from Italy, who have used DNA to protect textiles against fire.

Using herring sperm as their DNA source, the researchers have created samples of cotton that can withstand direct application of a flame and an irradiative heat flux without ignition of the material.

DNA has all of the desirable characteristics of a flame-retardant chemical, without the environmentally unfriendly drawbacks of many of the materials currently in use. Using DNA as a bulk chemical is becoming more viable option as new industrial processes are discovered.

Original publication:

J Alongi et al, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2013

Facts, background information, dossiers
  • DNA
  • cotton
  • Politecnico di Torino
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