Nano-enabled Flame Retardants at NIST

The video focuses on the burn rate of furniture with traditional fire retardant chemicals and the efforts at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop nanomaterial-based fire retardants that are a safer and less toxic replacement. NIST's research has shown that nano-based flame retardants use 30% less chemicals by weight, while still being as effective as the traditional flame retardants. Traditional flame retardants are currently used in a wide variety of consumer products, including furniture, curtains, automobiles, and even children's sleepwear. As house fires cause between $1-$3 billion a year in damage in the U.S. alone, these flame retardants are vital to protecting property, and more importantly, human lives. However, there has been concern for many years about the toxic properties of traditional flame retardants. This research is leading to new ways to protect homes and families, while decreasing unnecessary risks related to exposure to harmful chemicals.

The video includes b-roll of two fires in the lab-- from the safety briefing, ignition, burn, to the eventual suppression of the fires-- along with interviews from the various experts and participants at the facility.

For more information or to request this video, contact:
Marlowe Newman
National Nanotechnology Coordination Office