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Flammability of Polymer-Clay Nanocomposites.

pdf icon Flammability of Polymer-Clay Nanocomposites. (688 K)
Morgan, A. B.; Gilman, J. W.; Kashiwagi, T.; Jackson, C. L.

Fire Safety Developments Emerging Needs, Product Developments, Non-Halogen FR's, Standards and Regulations. Proceedings. Fire Retardant Chemicals Association. March 12-15, 2000, Washington, DC, 25-39 pp, 2000.


nanocomposites; flammability; clay


The flammability of two polymer-clay nanocomposites, made from polycaprolactam (PA-6) and polyethylene-co-vinylacetate (EVA) were investigated. Polymer-clay nanocomposites have the unique advantage of not only reducing the flammability of a polymer, but also improving the mechanical properties of the polymer. This is a key advantage over many flame retardants which improve flammability but reduce polymer mechanical properties. In our efforts to further understand the mechanism of flame retardancy with polymer-clay nanocomposites, we investigated the effects that clay dispersion and charring polymer additives might have on the flammability of the nanocomposite. The nanocomposites were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to determine the nature of the clay dispersion in the polymer. Cone calorimetry was used to evaluate the flammability of these nanocomposites. We determined that the type of dispersion of clay in the polymer (intercalated vs. delaminated) did not appear to have a major effect on flammability. Further, it appeared that the charring co-additive put in the PA-6 nanocomposites had no beneficial effect.