Glonatech S.A., the nanotechnology company of ONEX Group, attended Fire Toxicity 2016, a three-day conference held at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), in Preston, UK from Monday 21st March to Wednesday 23rd March 2016. Firetox 2016 brought together experts from across the world to highlight research and open discussion in the key area of fire toxicity and engineering.
Dr. Stephanos Nitodas
Dr. Stephanos Nitodas, Business Development Manager of Glonatech and committee member for Greece of the EU COST action MP1105 that co-organized the Conference, presented the company’s recent research entitled “Hybrid polymer nanocomposites with low flammability for marine applications”. This work of Glonatech deals with the introduction of polymer composite materials in the primary and secondary structures of marine vessels, following the latest SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) rule that allows construction of commercial ferries and cruise ships with materials other than steel, which can provide same safety levels. In this sense, low Fire-Smoke-Toxicity (FST) sandwich structures are the key factor to build lightweight, reliable, and durable vessels with lower maintenance costs. Sandwich like nanocomposites can be also applied to other fields such as construction and railway structures.
The growing need to address the flammability of synthetic polymeric materials, as substitutes for natural-based materials, has led to an increase in the use of fire and flame retardant (FR) systems, as those including carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Most of the recent research in development of fire safe materials concentrates on preventing ignition and fire growth, shifting the focus of the fire safety towards reducing peak heat release rates. It is important to understand the range of concentrations of chemical species likely to be present in any fire and can have a negative effect on the environment as well as posing a serious hazard to human health. These principles were the main aspects addressed by Firetox 2016.
Meeting with the Fire Science and Pertinent Materials Manufacturers
During the conference, Dr. Stephanos Nitodas had the opportunity to meet and discuss with representatives of the academic community in the field of fire science and pertinent materials manufacturers and exchanged views and information about the latest trends and novelties in the field of materials and composites for fire resistance and flame retardancy.