Sitting cool

Published: Thursday 15 September 1994

-- (Credit: T C Malhotra /CSE)A misplaced cigarette butt on the polyurethane seats in an aircraft, the most inflammable material besides the fuel, could lead to an aerial disaster. But Indian Airlines can cease to worry about the problem, thanks to scientists at the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) at Roorkee, Uttar Pradesh. CBRI scientists have developed a chemical treatment which is applied on a thick cotton fabric which is then draped over the polyurethane foam. The fire-resistant layer developed by CBRI does not emit toxic gases and does not melt.

CBRI has set up a manually-operated plant for fire retardant treatment of cotton denim material. The plant has a capacity of treating 400 metres of fabric a day. Over 4,000 metres of denim have been treated and supplied to Indian Airlines. CBRI plans to supply the material for use in all civilian aircraft seats. They claim that it will vastly enhance safety in domestic aviation.

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