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Development of value‐added polyethylene grades with extended service lifetime: Weathering resistant flame retarded materials for outdoor applications

: Porfyris, A.D.; Vouyiouka, S.N.; Luyt, Adriaan Stephanus; Korres, Dimitrios; Malik, Sarah Shahid; Gasmi, Soumia Abderrazak; Großhauser, Michael; Pfaendner, Rudolf; Papaspyrides, Constantine D.


Journal of applied polymer science 138 (2021), No.19, Art. 50370, 18 pp.
ISSN: 0021-8995
ISSN: 1097-4628
Journal Article
Fraunhofer LBF ()
aging; flame retardance; mechanical property; polyolefin

The current article deals with the development of different novel, tailor-made polyolefin formulations exhibiting both low flammability and high weathering resistance, so as to provide value-added polyethylene grades with extended service lifetime. Two low-density (LDPE) and one linear low-density (LLDPE) polyethylene grades were modified via melt compounding with an additive system comprising: (a) a nitrogen-phosphorous intumescent system for flame retardance and (b) a hindered amine light stabilizer and a benzophenone-type UV absorber for UV/heat stabilization, at a total loading of 30–35 wt%. The target was to reach V0 classification in UL94V flammability tests, while to a large extent maintaining the mechanical properties, such as, tensile and impact strength of the investigated polymers, thus ensuring that the additives do not interfere significantly with the material quality. Subsequently, the compounds were subjected to separate artificial UV and heat aging at 100°C for 1500 h; the formulations showed good flame retardance, even after prolonged artificial weathering, but there was an observable, although acceptable, decrease in the mechanical properties. Nevertheless, all the results show that the developed polyethylene compounds are very promising for outdoor applications, such as, irrigation piping and profiles, where long-term weathering stability is important, and where flame retardance is important for safety during storage.