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Flammability of Polystyrene-Clay Nanocomposites.

pdf icon Flammability of Polystyrene-Clay Nanocomposites. (365 K)
Morgan, A. B.; Gilman, J. W.; Harris, R. H., Jr.; Jackson, C. L.; Wilkie, C. A.; Zhu, J.

Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering, Vol. 83, 53-54, 2000.


nanocomposites; flammability; polystyrene; clay; flame retardants


Research in the area of condensed phase flame retardants for polymers usually builds upon existing technologies, such as metal hydroxides (alumina, magnesium hydroxide) or phosphorus based materials. However, these materials tend to weaken mechanical properties while improving flammability resistance. No major new flame retardant (FR) technology has emerged in this area for quite some time. Polymer-clay nanocomposites have generated a great deal of interest due to improved mechanical and thermal properties. Also, they have improved flammability resistance while maintaining good mechanical properties, a key advantage over existing condensed phase flame retardants. Recent work in our laboratory in this area has shown that polymer-clay nanocomposites have greatly reduced heat release rates. Further, we have observed polymers which normally do not char, or leave any carbonaceous residue upon burning, produce char in the presence of clay. Previously, we had investigated the flammability properties of polystyrene copolymers with phosphates and the ability to crosslink via Friedel-Crafts chemistry. The research presented here combines Fricdel Crafts technology with clay to obtain an improved flame-resistant polystyrene.