Lightweight, high-performance composite materials, such as fibre-reinforced polymers, are rapidly replacing conventional building materials. Nevertheless, these polymeric materials are often associated with life-threatening fire hazards due to the production of toxic substances in the event of fires. Fire incidents caused by these highly flammable polymers have increased dramatically over the last decade. Therefore, it is common nowadays to add nanofillers to the polymer matrix as flame retardants to effectively reduce the flammability, asphyxiated gases and generation of smoke. Recent studies on bio-inspired flame retardants have achieved remarkable flame-retardant performance with eco-friendly features.
Nonetheless, most of the research on flame-retardant chemicals remains qualitative, built upon decades of experimental knowledge. Model development to strengthen our understanding of flame retardancy remains in its early stages, especially for emerging nanocomposite materials. One of the potential approaches to studying flame-retardant mechanisms and pyrolysis chemistry is molecular dynamics simulation. This Special Issue aims to identify the most recent scientific advancements in flame-retardant materials and the characterisation of specific molecular mechanisms underlying flame retardancy. Topics of interest include: (i) bio-inspired flame retardants; (ii) multifunctional polymer composites; (iii) pyrolytic mechanisms; (iv) combustion behaviour; (v) prediction of the toxicity of gases; and (vi) molecular dynamics.
Dr. Anthony Chun Yin Yuen