A novel halogen-free flame-retardant composite consisting of an intumescent flame retardant (IFR), oil-filled styrene–ethylene–butadiene–styrene block copolymer (O-SEBS), and polypropylene (PP) was studied. On the basis of UL-94 ratings and limiting oxygen index (LOI) data, the IFRs consisted of a charring–foaming agent, ammonium polyphosphate, and SiO2 showed very effective flame retardancy and good water resistance in the IFR O-SEBS/PP composite. When the loading of IFR was only 28 wt %, the IFR–O-SEBS/PP composite could still attain a UL-94 V-0 (1.6 mm) rating, and its LOI value remained at 29.8% after a water treatment at 70°C for 168 h. Thermogravimetric analysis data indicated that the IFR effectively enhanced the temperature of the main thermal degradation peak of the IFR–O-SEBS/PP composites because of the formation of abundant char residue. The flammability parameters of the composites obtained from cone calorimetry testing demonstrated that water treatment almost did not affect the flammability behavior of the composite. The morphological structures of the char residue and fractured surfaces of the composites were not affected by the water treatment. This was attributed to a small quantity of IFR extracted from the composite. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39575.
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