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Significance of the study

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Potassium Carbonate is a white chemical discovered by Antonio Campanella in 1742. Producing potassium carbonate is simple enough and can be done via electrolysis. Electrolysis produces potassium carbonate in commercial quantities by generally used as nutritional supplement in livestock feed. It is also used in food production, replacement of calcium chloride and magnesium. Potassium carbonate can be used in extinguishing and preventing the spread of fire.

Sodium is a form of hydrous sodium borate. It is normally color white or light grey but can be tinted light shades of blue, green, and yellow. Naturally occurring sodium borate due to water evaporates. It has myriad uses in modern world, both at home and in the industry. In our homes, it is used as a bound dry detergent, boaster, cleaner, preservative, fungicide, insecticide, herbicide, and disinfectant. In industry, it is used as a buffer, a dispersal agent, welding flux, and to control fire. It can also be used to coat electrical and cellulose insulation. Borates are used as a nuclear containment shield.

Cotton is a soft fiber that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant. The fiber is most often spun into thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. Cotton is a valuable crop because only about 10% of the raw weight lost in processing once traces of wax, protein, etc. are removed: the remainder is a natural polymer of pure cellulose. This cellulose is arranged in a way that gives cotton unique properties of strength, durability, and absorbency. Each fiber is made up of twenty to thirty layers of cellulose coiled in a neat series of natural springs. When the cotton ball (seed case) is opened the fibers dry into flat, twisted, ribbon-like shapes and become kinked together and interlocked. This interlocked form is ideal for spinning into a fine yarn.

Linen is a fabric or yarn made from the fiber of flax, probably the first vegetable fiber known to people. Linens more than 3,500 years old have been recovered from Egyptian tombs. Phoenician traders marketed linen in Mediterranean ports. Worn by Egyptian, Greek, and Jewish priests as symbol of purity, it also typified luxury as in the phrase ‘purple and fine linen”. Flax was cultivated by the Romans and introduced by them into north Europe.

Satin fabric that has luster and softness that makes it an attractive choice among fabrics. It tends toward a soft, luxurious feel and is found at a much lower cost than silk. Sateen used in a variety of applications, from fashion to home décor. Its distinctive sheen makes it stand out. Sateen may have a satin-smooth finish but it is not satin. Sateen and satin are each woven from different source fabric. Sateen is generally made out of cotton. Satin is usually made of silk. Sateen resembles satin in its softness and shine.

Both reveal a soft, silky, glossy finish on one side and a matte, flat finish on the underside. Both are made using similar weaving techniques. Sateen begins its life as cotton fibers. The cotton is then mercerized to soften the fabric. Mercerizing cotton creates sheen through the use of sodium hydroxide (lye) then is rinsed in a neutralizing acid bath the luster comes to fabric when it comes to tension or stretched as it is mercerized. Sateen holds dye extremely well and is lustrous to touch and eye due to the mercerizing process.

Objectives of the Study

This study aims to know if the solution of potassium carbonate and sodium borate is an effective fire retardant for linen, satin, and cotton.

This study specifically seeks to:

* Making solution using potassium carbonate and sodium borate

* Making different types of cloth as fire retardant using potassium carbonate and sodium borate

* To know which cloth the solution is most effective

Significance of the Study

According to the DILG many cases of fire alerts have been reported throughout the year 2010 and causing devastations to human lives. Making a fire retardant cloth using potassium carbonate and sodium borate can be the solution by mixing the chemicals and immersing the different types of cloth like cotton, linen, and satin into the solution. The cloth mixed with those chemicals may lessen the devastation brought by fire. Fire may cause severe damage to skin and may even cause death. Short circuit and carelessness are some of the causes of fire related incidents. In this study, we want to prevent fire from spreading. Cloth is always one of the main causes why fire spreads because of its structure which is easily caught by fire. This study aims to benefit people who work near fire, like firemen or laboratory attendants because this can reduce the damage to your skin when you come in contact with fire. This will also benefit future researchers because they can help improve the fire retardant cloth using more common and cheaper chemicals.

Scope and Limitations

This study is limited to testing the effectiveness of the solution to three different types of cloth namely; cotton, linen and satin. We will be testing if the solution of sodium borate and potassium carbonate will be a good fire retardant for cotton, linen and satin. The research will be limited only to the use of cotton, linen and satin, and the 1:2 ratios of potassium carbonate and sodium borate solution.

Definition of Terms

A widely understandable definition of the variables used in the study:

Potassium Carbonate – a white chemical discovered by Antonio Campanella in 1742 and commonly used for extinguishing and preventing fire.

Sodium Borate – a hydrous sodium borate that does not exist by itself normally colourless, white or light

Grey but can be tinted light shades of blue, green, and yellow and also commonly used on any

Fireproof materials.

Cotton – is a shrub like plant that requires a long growing season and warm in temperatures. The characteristics of cotton allow the fibers to look together as the cottons spin to make or create long threads of your fibers that are woven into cloth.

Linen –cloth made of flax and noted for its strength, coolness, and luster. Thread or yarn spun from flax.

Satin –a fabric (as of silk) in Satin weave with lustrous face and dull back

Fireproof –proof against or resistant to fire

Fireproofing –to make things fireproof/fire resistant

Review of Related Literature

Potassium Carbonate StructureSodium Borate Structure

Potassium carbonate is used on type ‘B’ and ‘C’ fires. Unlike the baking soda, potassium carbonate when used as a fire extinguisher is 2 times more effective when used on oil and gas fires. Potassium carbonate is the only flame retardant certified for use in airplane fires since it does not react to alcohol and successfully contains and stops fire from spreading in the fastest time possible.

Potassium carbonate and Urea complex also known as ammonium carbonate was once used as a fire-proofing coating. Now it effectively puts out fires through its ability to break down into smaller parts to spread it. It coats the area and suppresses the flame until it has died out.

Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetra borate, or disodium tetra borate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric. It is usually a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water. Borax has a wide variety of uses. It is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is also used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound for fiberglass, as a flux in metallurgy, a texturing agent in cooking, and as a precursor for other boron compounds.

There are some tips on preventing fire on of these: Always stand with an exit at your back. Stand several feet away from the fire, moving closer once the fire starts to diminish. Use a sweeping motion and aim at the base of the fire. If possible, use a “ buddy system” to have someone back you up or all for help if something goes wrong. Be sure to watch the area for awhile to ensure it doesn’t re-ignite.

Before deciding to fight fire or to control it, you must be certain that: The fire is small and not spreading. A fire can double in size within two or three minutes. You have the propoer fire extinguisher for what is burning. The fire won’t block your exit if you can’t control it. A good way to ensure this is to keep the exit at your back. You know your fire extinguisher works. Inspect extinguishers once a month for dents, leaks or other signs of damage. Assure the pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguisher equipped with a gauge, the needle should be in the green-zone – not too high and not too low. You know how to use your fire extinguisher. There’s not enough time to read instructions when a fire occurs.

Never fight a fire if: The fire is spreading rapidly. Only use a fire extinguisher when the fire is in its early stages. If the fire is already spreading quickly, evacuate and call the fire department. You don’t know what is burning. Unless you know what is burning, you won’t know what type of fire extinguisher to use. Even if you have an ABC extinguisher, there could be something that will explode or produce highly toxic smoke. You don’t have the proper fire extinguisher. The wrong type of extinguisher can be dangerous or lifef-threatening. There is too much or you are at risk of inhaling smoke. Seven out of ten fire-related deaths occur from breathing poisonous gases produced by the fire.

There are many fire protection and fire prevention tips out their today. There are both fire protection and fire prevention tips that are geared for adults, children, families, businesses and more. It is important that these fire protection and fire prevention tips are known. Many fire departments dedicate a week or even a month to fire prevention and fire protection because it is so important to be aware of the things you can do to prevent fires and protect your loved ones from fire. Some fires are out of our control but there are thousands of fires each year that could have been prevented. Below are the most important fire prevention and fire protection tips.

Everyone likes candles; they add a certain element to almost any room in your house. However candles are the leading cause in accidental house fires. Fire protection tip number one is place lit candles in a place where if an accident happens, like the glass jar the candle is in bursts, the fire will not be able to spread. Another fire protection tip is checking your fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers are the most overlooked fire protection tool. They just sit in a corner collecting dust. It is important to know if your fire extinguishers are out of code. If they are they may not work in a time when you need them.

Always test your smoke alarms. While this is not a “fire” protection tip is could help protect you and your loved ones. Your smoke alarm sounding will alert you if there is smoke, and this can lead to protecting your home from a spreading fire. Another fire protection tip is to test your doors and windows. It is important to know if they open easily, and if your windows open wide or tall enough. Following these fire protection tips, and reading up on other fire protection tips might help save your life and you families lives.

Fire prevention tips are often broken into different groups, children, seniors, etc. these are some of the most common fire prevention tips. Obviously the first fire prevention tip is never play with matches, lighters or any other fire igniting apparatus. An extended version of this fire prevention tip is keeping these things in places where they cannot be reached by children, like the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet. Another important prevention tip is making sure your smoke detectors work. Test them monthly and be sure to change the batteries right away if they do not work. As much as this is a fire prevention tip it is also a fire protection tip.

Another fire prevention tip is to have the electrical system of your house tested yearly. This fire prevention tip is especially important for those living in older houses; the chance of a fire happening because of an electrical system short is much greater in an older house. The last two fire prevention tips are to always remember to turn the stove off when you are done cooking and keep any space heaters away from flammable materials.

The researchers conducted the study to test if potassium carbonate and sodium borate are both effective in making fireproof fabric which can help reduce the intensity of damage to the skin when contact with fire.

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