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Oklahoma State University

Dr. Wang receives award from the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Dr. Qingsheng Wang, along with his collaborator from Texas A&M University, was recently awarded a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF/CBET) to develop new fire retardant polymer nanocomposites.  Highly flammable polymers have frequently been used in home construction, resulting in polymeric fires causing many deaths and extensive property losses.
Most polymers burn by producing gas phase fuels which combine with air and sustain the fire until all polymers are demolished.  The main objective of this research is to design new flame retardant polymers which, when exposed to fire, char very quickly, creating a physical barrier that reduces the original material’s flammability.  This research will focus on studying the kinetics and the mass/heat transfer processes involved in burning polymers with and without nanofillers.  It would contribute to a better understanding of the synergistic role of nanofillers in fire retardancy at the fundamental level, and at the same time give practical insight into the development of better fire retardant materials.  The new materials would have the potential to replace existing materials, therefore providing enough time for timely evacuation and control of fires.