NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Flame-Retardant Mechanism of Silica: Effects of Resin Molecular Weight.


pdf icon Flame-Retardant Mechanism of Silica: Effects of Resin Molecular Weight. (373 K)
Kashiwagi, T.; Shields, J. R.; Harris, R. H., Jr.; Davis, R. D.

Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Vol. 87, No. 9, 1541-1553, February 28, 2003.

Keywords:

silica; flame retardants; molecular weight

Abstract:

The effects of resin molecular weight on the flame-retardant mechanism of silica were studied with two different molecular weights of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), 122,000 and 996,000 g/mol, and two silicas, fused silica with a small surface area and silica gel with a large surface area. A total of six different samples were studied, with a mass fraction of 10% silica. The mass loss rate of the six samples in nitrogen and the heat release rate from burning in air were measured at an external radiant flux of 40 kW/m2. The addition of silica gel to the low-molecular weight PMMA significantly reduced the mass loss rate and heat release rate; addition to the high-molecular-weight PMMA provided the largest reductions of these quantities in this study. For fused silica, some reduction in mass loss rate and heat release rate was observed when it was added to the high-molecular-weight PMMA; addition to the low-molecular-weight PMMA did not reduce either loss rate. Chemical analysis of the collected residues and observation of the sample surface during gasification reveal the accumulation of silica near the surface; the larger its coverage over the sample surface was, less the mass loss rate and heat release rate were. Both the level of accumulation and its surface coverage depended strongly not only on the silica characteristics but also on the melt viscosity of the PMMA.