November 16, 2017

Micro engineering flame retardants

Improving the mechanisms of flame retardancy through the combination of nanocomposites with existing flame retardants requires an understanding of the chemical structure and geometry of the nanoparticle flame retardant residing in the host material. This project aims to advance the nano-filler technology by carrying out fundamental studies to investigate: (i) changes in the structure of the flame retardant as the nanoparticles migrate to the burning surface causing a breakdown to the uniformity and stability of the nanoparticle network, (ii) the homogeneity and integrity of the protective barrier under heating and impact by combustion byproducts, and (iii) techniques to promote the formation of char at the polymer thus reducing the emission of combustible volatiles. High aspect ratio fillers have been shown to significantly enhance the flame retardancy and to reduce toxicity and smoke production.