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Flame retarded epoxy resins by adding layered silicate in combination with the conventional protection-layer-building flame retardants melamine borate and ammonium polyphosphate



The pyrolysis and flammability of phosphonium-modified layered silicate epoxy resin nanocomposites (EP/LS) were evaluated when LS was combined with two flame retardants, melamine borate (MB) and ammonium polyphosphate (APP), that also act via a surface protection layer. Thermogravimetry (TG), TG coupled with Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (TG-FTIR), oxygen index (LOI), UL 94 burning chamber (UL 94) and cone calorimeter were used. The glassy coating because of 10 wt % MB during combustion showed effects in the cone calorimeter test similar to nanodispersed LS, and somewhat better flame retardancy in flammability tests, such as LOI and UL 94. Adding APP to EP resulted in intumescent systems. The fire retardancy was particularly convincing when 15 wt % APP was used, especially for low external heat flux, and thus, also in flammability tests like LOI and UL 94. V0 classification is achieved when 15 wt % APP is used in EP. The flame retardancy efficiency of the protection layers formed does not increase linearly with the MB and APP concentrations used. The combination of LS with MB or APP shows antagonism; thus the performance of the combination of LS with MB or APP, respectively, was disappointing. No optimization of the carbonaceous-inorganic surface layer occurred for LS-MB. Combining LS with APP inhibited the intumescence, most probably through an increase in viscosity clearly above the value needed for intumescent behavior. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010