American Chemical Society
nn1c02254_si_001.pdf (6.31 MB)

Bioinspired, Highly Adhesive, Nanostructured Polymeric Coatings for Superhydrophobic Fire-Extinguishing Thermal Insulation Foam

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-06-25, 19:43 authored by Zhewen Ma, Xiaochen Liu, Xiaodong Xu, Lei Liu, Bin Yu, Cristian Maluk, Guobo Huang, Hao Wang, Pingan Song
Lightweight polymeric foam is highly attractive as thermal insulation materials for energy-saving buildings but is plagued by its inherent flammability. Fire-retardant coatings are suggested as an effective means to solve this problem. However, most of the existing fire-retardant coatings suffer from poor interfacial adhesion to polymeric foam during use. In nature, snails and tree frogs exhibit strong adhesion to a variety of surfaces by interfacial hydrogen-bonding and mechanical interlocking, respectively. Inspired by their adhesion mechanisms, we herein rationally design fire-retardant polymeric coatings with phase-separated micro/nanostructures via a facile radical copolymerization of hydroxyethyl acrylate (HEA) and sodium vinylsulfonate (VS). The resultant waterborne poly­(VS-co-HEA) copolymers exhibit strong interfacial adhesion to rigid polyurethane (PU) foam and other substrates, better than most of the current adhesives because of the combination of interfacial hydrogen-bonding and mechanical interlocking. Besides a superhydrophobic feature, the poly­(VS-co-HEA)-coated PU foam can self-extinguish a flame, exhibiting a desired V-0 rating during vertical burning and low heat and smoke release due to its high charring capability, which is superior to its previous counterparts. Moreover, the foam thermal insulation is well-preserved and agrees well with theoretical calculations. This work offers a facile biomimetic strategy for creating advanced adhesive fire-retardant polymeric coatings for many flammable substrates.