[en] nanostructured material ; supercritical carbon-dioxide ; green technology ; nanocomposite ; clay ; foam ; flame retardancy
[en] This work deals with the preparation and characterization of fire-resistant poly(styrene coacrylonitrile) (SAN) foams containing (organo)clays and/or melamine polyphosphate (MPP) as fire retardants using supercritical CO2 as the foaming agent. The additives dispersion was first characterized with X-ray and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses. Their presence clearly affected the cellular morphology, as observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Then, the peak of heat release rate (PHRR) and total heat evolved (THE) were determined with a cone calorimetry test, performed on each foamed sample as a function of the foam density. Incorporation of clay (3 and 5 wt%) in the exfoliated state into the SAN foam clearly led to a significant decrease of PHRR, while intercalated and aggregated clay had a lower effect. Similar results were obtained with 10 and 20 wt% of MPP. The best results were obtained when exfoliated clay and MPP were combined, with a PHRR drop as large as 75%, thanks to the synergistic action of both additives. The magnitude of PHRR drop, related to the fire resistance, was found to be in direct relationship with the cohesiveness of the protective carbonaceous layer formed at the sample surface during combustion. Clay and MPP, when added together, are thus believed to favour the formation of a highly cohesive protective layer able to act as an efficient shield against the flame, despite the fact that the sample is originally composed of ~90% of voids.
Center for Education and Research on Macromolecules (CERM)
Politique Scientifique Fédérale (Belgique) = Belgian Federal Science Policy ; The "Région Wallonne" in the frame of the WINNOMAT program "PROCOMO" ; Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS