This paper is a review of polymer nanocomposites used for flame retardancy applications, including commercial materials and open literature examples. Where possible, details on how the nanocomposite and flame retardant work together will be discussed. The key lesson from this review is that while the polymer nanocomposite can be considered to be flame retarded (or a flame retardant) by definition, these materials by themselves are unable to pass regulatory fire safety tests such as UL-94 V. Therefore, additional flame retardants are needed in combination with the polymer nanocomposite to pass these tests. In multiple examples, the nanocomposite works with other flame retardants in a synergistic or cooperative manner to lower the polymer flammability (heat release rate). Finally, a discussion on research needs and outlook for polymer nanocomposite flammability research is included. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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