• Airplane aisle of blue seats and people's shoulders

    Fire Retardant Materials: How Do Duratrim and Aqueous FR Coatings Work?

Flame-resistant or fire retardant material is not fireproof, but it does resist ignition and self-extinguishes once the initial flame source is out. While no material is entirely fireproof, high-quality fire retardant materials can help slow the spread of fires and provide precious escape time in an emergency.

There are two basic types of fire retardant (FR) materials: inherently fire retardant and chemically treated. Today, we’re exploring these types of fire protection materials (both available through Duracote) and explaining the difference between the two.

Inherently Fire Retardant Materials

Flame-resistant fabrics or inherently fire retardant materials are nonflammable. What this means is that the material has flame resistance built directly into its chemical structure. Fabrics that utilize this fire protection material are designed to prevent the spread of a fire. Additionally, the fabric will not melt or drip when near a flame and is often self-extinguishing. Without being made of a nonflammable material, a fabric will not qualify as fire resistant.

It’s important to note that most often, flame-resistant fabric is not made from 100 percent fire retardant material. Because of this, it will burn, but at a prolonged rate. All parts of inherently FR materials will remain flame resistant with proper care, despite washing, wear and tear, and the general passage of time.


Duratrim is Duracote’s standard line of fire safety products, manufactured to Boeing, Lockheed, military or industrial specifications. The inherently fire resistant line has been designed with woven fiberglass reinforcements and flame retardant coatings, meeting the flammability requirements of the strictest markets.

Gray woven airplane flooring showing inherently fire retardant vs. chemically treated materials

Chemically Treated Materials

Chemically treated materials or fabrics tend to begin with an inherently flammable fabric. This fabric is then chemically treated to be slow burning and/or self-extinguishing when exposed to an open flame. While these fabrics can be made from nearly anything, they have to be treated with special chemicals to qualify as fire retardant materials.

Aqueous FR Coatings

Duracote has developed FR coatings and adhesives for both aircraft and industrial applications. The coatings comply with all relevant fire retardant regulations and are compounded for a variety of application methods. The chemical treatment can transform any ordinary material into a fire retardant material.

Explore Duracote’s Range of Fire Protection Materials

Duracote’s fire retardant material is custom developed to meet the growing demands of aviation, automotive and industrial markets for increased fire safety performance and regulatory compliance. And all fire retardant materials are tested in our FAA- and Boeing-approved laboratory. Browse our full selection of performance product solutions today. Have a question or need more information? Contact us—we’re here to help.

Have a question?