- In an effort to reduce the flammability of polyurethane foam, a thin film of renewable inorganic nanoparticles (i.e., anionic vermiculite [VMT] and cationic boehmite [BMT]) was deposited on polyurethane foam via layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly. One, two, and three bilayers (BL) of BMT-VMT resulted in foam with retained shape after being exposed to a butane flame for 10 s, while uncoated foam was completely consumed. Cone calorimetry confirmed that the coated foam exhibited a 55% reduction in peak heat release rate with only a single bilayer deposited. Moreover, this protective nanocoating reduced total smoke release by 50% relative to untreated foam. This study revealed that 1 BL, adding just 4.5 wt % to PU foam, is an effective and conformal flame retardant coating. These results demonstrate one of the most efficient and renewable nanocoatings prepared using LbL assembly, taking this technology another step closer to commercial viability.