Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/413

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407
PERMANENT FIREPROOFING OF COTTON GOODS

the action of the weak alkali of the soap. But a matter of hardly less importance from the practical point of view is that the material is not only permanently fireproofed by the process I have just described, it also retains and acquires properties which make it as perfect a material in all other respects as could be desired. In the first place the treatment has no effect on the delicate colors which are now so generally employed in connection with the manufacture of flannelette and other cotton goods and very careful experiments have demonstrated the fact that the insoluble tin compound in the fiber has not the slightest deleterious action on the most delicate skin. In addition, the presence of the tin compound in the pores gives the cloth a softer and fuller feel than that of the original flannelette and what perhaps is the most unexpected result is the fact that the material is considerably strengthened by the process.

A series of tests made by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce proved that the tensile strength of flannelette is increased nearly 20 per cent, as the result of the introduction of the tin compound into the fiber.

Further and very exhaustive tests made at the Municipal School of Technology, Manchester, on a machine specially designed for testing the wearing properties of fabrics, showed an even greater gain in durability in the case of the fireproofed flannelette. These separate and independent tests conclusively showed that the increase in strength and durability was approximately equal to the cost of the fireproofing treatment so that garments made from the permanently fireproofed flannelette are, as a matter of fact, no dearer than those made from ordinary flannelette and are at the same time as safe as if made from flannel. Some of these properties and statements may be easily tested by each of you independently with the samples in the little book which you received on entering the hall.

This permanently fireproofed flannelette is now manufactured on the large scale by Messrs. Whipp Bros, and Tod in Manchester under the name of "Non-Flam" and, although its introduction has been slow, it is being increasingly used and will, in all probability, ultimately entirely replace the ordinary inflammable variety. One of the difficulties experienced in connection with its general introduction is the fact, that, owing to the high price of tin, which is now quoted at about £210 or $1,050 per ton, the cost of the process is not inconsiderable but, even with tin at this high price, the extra cost is not more than 1 d. (2 cents) per yard or about-11/2 d. or 2 d. (3-4 cents) for a child's garment. I have here on the table, rolls of "Non-Flam" of different qualities so that any one who wishes for a larger sample than is contained in the little book can easily obtain it.

It is hardly necessary for me to say that this process can be applied