Polymer Degradation and Stability
Brominated flame retardant polystyrene composites were prepared by melt blending polystyrene, decabromodiphenyl oxide, antimony oxide, multi-wall carbon nanotubes and montmorillonite clay. Synergy between carbon nanotubes and clay and the brominated fire retardant was studied by thermogravimetric analysis, microscale combustion calorimetry and cone calorimetry. Nanotubes are more efficient than clay in improving the flame retardancy of the materials and promoting carbonization in the polystyrene matrix. Comparison of the results from the microscale combustion calorimeter and the cone calorimeter indicate that the rate of change of the peak heat release rate reduction in the microscale combustion calorimeter was slower than that in the cone. Both heat release capacity and reduction in the peak heat release rate in the microscale combustion calorimeter are important for screening the flame retardant materials; they show good correlations with the cone parameters, peak heat release rate and total heat released.