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Silane-functionalized flame-retardant aluminum trihydroxide in flexible polyurethane foam

: König, A.; Malek, A.; Fehrenbacher, U.; Brunklaus, G.; Wilhelm, M.; Hirth, T.


Journal of cellular plastics 46 (2010), No.5, pp.395-413
ISSN: 0021-955X
ISSN: 1530-7999
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ICT ()

Flexible polyurethane (PU) foams are easily ignitable and show a high burning velocity, mainly due to their high surface area-to-mass ratio and high air permeability. Consequently, flame retardants such as halogenated compounds are applied. However, the use of halogenated flame retardants is not considered beneficial in transport applications, for example, aviation or automobile, in part due to the high smoke generation. Solid nonhalogenated flame retardants, for example, aluminum trihydroxide (ATH), are known as smoke suppressants. The application of ATH in flexible (PU) foam has not yet been reported in the literature. In this study, the application of different types and amounts of ATH and the resulting structure-property relationship in the foam are investigated. The increase in the viscosity of the filled raw materials during the foaming process and the negative effects of the filler on the mechanical properties of the final foam pose particular problems in the application of ATH. To pass the FMVSS 302 test, high amounts of ATH are necessary. To overcome the mentioned drawbacks, ATH particles are functionalized by 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane under different conditions. The synthesized products were characterized by Fourier transform infrared, energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis, and 29Si and H-1 solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The silane-treated ATH particles show a significant decrease in viscosity of the ATH-polyol system of more than 20% at ATH contents of up to 60 phpp. Values of the rising behavior during foaming and the burning velocity are not affected by this silane treatment. However, the compression test of PU foams with the silane-treated ATH particles show a decrease in compression strength of up to 20% compared to untreated ATH particles in the flexible PU foam. At higher ATH contents, no effect of silanization is observed.