Polymer Degradation and Stability
Composites of poly(vinyl ester) (PVE) with copper hydroxy dodecyl sulfate (CHDS) were prepared by thermal curing. The efficiency of the additive, CHDS, in reducing flammability is demonstrated via cone calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The addition of 1-10% by mass of the CHDS additive resulted in significant increments in char formation (~4-11%) from thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Incorporation of the CHDS into the polymer matrix at these low concentrations leads to substantial reductions in the total heat release (~20-30%) but no significant change in the peak heat release rate. The composite materials generally ignite more quickly, however, the flame extinguishes faster for the composites relative to the virgin polymer. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and infrared spectroscopic analyses of the residues collected at various stages during thermal decomposition of the composities, suggest the participation of copper-containing species in promoting enhanced thermal stability of PVE.