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Layered silicate epoxy nanocomposites: formation of the inorganic-carbonaceous fire protection layer
|Polymers for advanced technologies : PAT 22 (2011), Nr.12, S.1581-1592|
|Fraunhofer IFAM ()|
The layered silicate (LS) modification and processing parameters applied control the morphology of the LS/polymer composites. Here, increasing the surface area of the LS particles by using alternative drying processes increases dispersion towards a more typical nanocomposite morphology, which is a basic requirement for promising flame retardancy. Nevertheless, the morphology at room temperature does not act itself with respect to flame retardancy, but serves as a prerequisite for the formation of an efficient surface protection layer during pyrolysis. The formation of this residue layer was addressed experimentally for the actual pyrolysis region of a burning nanocomposite and thus our results are valid without any assumptions or compromises on the time period, dimension, surrounding atmosphere or temperature. The formation of the inorganic-carbonaceous residue is influenced by bubbling, migration, reorientation, agglomeration, ablation, and perhaps also delamination inducedthermally and by decomposition, whereas true sintering of the inorganic particles was ruled out as an important mechanism. Multiple, quite different mechanisms are relevant during the formation of the residue, and the importance of each mechanism probably differs from one nanocomposite system to another. The main fire protection effect of the surface layer in polymer nanocomposites based on non-charring or nearly non-charring polymers is the increase in surface temperature, resulting in a substantial increase in reradiated heat flux (heat shielding).