Fire Retardancy of Vinyl Ester Nanocomposites: Synergy with Phosphorus-Based Fire Retardants
Polymer Degradation and Stability
Vinyl ester (PVE) nanocomposites were prepared using both clay and polyhedral oligosilsesquioxanes (POSS) as the nano-dimensional material. From cone calorimetric data, it was shown that both POSS and clay affect the flammability of the nanocomposites to the same extent. To improve on the flame retardancy, the nanocomposites were combined with phosphorous-containing fire retardants (FRs) and the result compared to the benchmark halogen-containing system. The use of the cone calorimeter to investigate the fire properties of these nanocomposites showed a great reduction in peak heat release rate (PHRR) in the presence of phosphate and slight improvements in average mass loss rate (AMLR) while thermogravimetric analysis showed improvement in char yield in the presence of phosphate. Several different organically modified clays were used and they affected the flammability to different extents. The time that the resin and clay were mixed and the atmosphere in which the reaction was carried out do not have an effect on the flammability and thermal stability of the nanocomposites. The effect of curing temperature on the clay dispersion and flammability was also investigated.