• flame retardant;
  • synthesis;
  • polycarbonate;
  • phosphine oligomer;
  • water resistance


A novel flame retardant, phenylene phenyl phosphine oligomer (PPPO) was synthesized and its chemical structure was characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, 1H, 13C, 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometer. PPPO was used to impart flame retardancy to polycarbonate (PC). Combustion behaviors and thermal degradation properties of PC/PPPO system were assayed by limiting oxygen index (LOI), vertical burning test (UL-94), cone calorimeter test, and thermogravimetric analysis. PC/6 wt % PPPO passed UL-94 V-0 rating with 3.0 mm samples and the LOI value was 34.1%, and PC/8 wt % PPPO also passed UL-94 V-0 rating with 1.6 mm samples and the LOI value was 36.3%. Scanning electron microscopy reveals that the char properties had crucial effects on the flame retardancy of PC. Mechanical properties and water resistance of PC/PPPO system were also measured. After water resistance test, PC/6 wt % PPPO with 3.0 mm samples and PC/8 wt % PPPO with 1.6 mm samples kept V-0 rating and mass loss was only 0.2%. The results revealed that PPPO was an efficient flame retardant for PC. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013