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(chemical engineering)
The process of treating materials chemically so that they will not support combustion.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The process of treating materials so that they will not support combustion. Although cellulosic materials such as paper, fiberboard, textiles, and wood products cannot be treated so that they will not be destroyed by long exposure to fire, they can be treated to retard the spreading of fire and to be self-extinguishing after the ligniting condition has been removed.

Numerous methods have been proposed for flameproofing cellulosic products. One of the simplest and most commonly used for paper and wood products is impregnation with various soluble salts, such as ammonium sulfate, ammonium phosphate, ammonium sulfamate, borax, and boric acid. Special formulations are often used to minimize the effects of these treatments on the color, softness, strength, permanence, or other qualities of the paper. For some applications, these treatments are not suitable because the salts remain soluble and leach out easily on exposure to water. A limited degree of resistance to leaching can be achieved by the addition of latex, lacquers, or waterproofing agents. In some cases the flameproofing agent can be given some resistance to leaching by causing it to react with the cellulose fiber (for example, urea and ammonium phosphate).

Leach-resistant flameproofing may also be obtained by incorporating insoluble retardants in the paper during manufacture, by application of insoluble materials in the form of emulsions, dispersions, or organic solutions, or by precipitation on, or reaction with, the fibers in multiple-bath treatments. The materials involved are of the same general types as those used for flameproofing textiles and include metallic oxides or sulfides and halogenated organic compounds. See Combustion, Textile chemistry

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Engineering. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.