Polymer Degradation and Stability
Polyethylene (PE) was modified by the addition of a layered hydroxide of zinc aluminum oleate (ZnAl) and/or commercial fire retardants. Commercial additives included: melamine polyphosphate (MPP), ammonium polyphosphate (APP), triphenol phosphate (TPP), resorcinol diphosphate (RDP), decabromophenyl oxide (DECA) and antimony oxide (AO). The thermal stability and the combustion behaviors of the new composite polymeric materials are evaluated in TGA experiments and cone calorimetry. At 20% total additive loading, APP and LDH enhance the thermal stability of the PE composites and favor char formation. ZnAl leads to the best reduction in the peak of heat release rate (PHRR), 72%, while the combinations of PE with other additives give reductions in the range 20-40%. The combination of DECA and AO effectively increases the time to ignition and time to PHRR while LDH lowers these two Phosphate fire retardants parameters. APP and MPP on the other hand, do not affect the time to ignition, but they effectively increase the time to PHRR relative to the pristine polymer.