chapter  5
30 Pages

Polymer Nanocomposite Flammability and Flame Retardancy

ByAlexander B. Morgan

Polymer nanocomposites as a field of materials science and chemical research has greatly expanded over the last 15 years since the first papers on polymer nanocomposites were published, but to some extent the field goes back farther than this. The initial papers from Toyota Research and Development (R&D) about their polyamide-6 nanocomposites in the early 1990s actually refer to these materials as “hybrids” [1,2], while the first use of the term “nanocomposite” was used in early papers by Giannelis [3,4] and Pinnavaia [5,6] in the mid-1990s. Regardless of the term used, polymer nanocomposite research

CONTENTS

5.1 Introduction ................................................................................................ 107 5.2 Polymer Nanocomposite Flammability .................................................. 109

5.2.1 Layered Nanocomposite Flammability ...................................... 110 5.2.2 Nanoplatelet Chemistry and Exfoliation versus

Intercalation Effects on Heat Release .......................................... 114 5.2.3 Carbon Nanotube/Nanofiber Nanocomposite

Flammability .................................................................................. 115 5.2.4 Colloidal Nanocomposite Flammability .................................... 117 5.2.5 General Nanocomposite Flammability Effects ......................... 118

5.3 Polymer Nanocomposites Combined with Traditional Flame Retardants ................................................................................................... 119

5.4 Making a Successful Flame-Retardant Polymer Nanocomposite ...... 121 5.5 Conclusions and Future Areas of Research ........................................... 123

5.5.1 Potential Issues/Research Areas for Flame-Retardant Polymer Nanocomposites ............................................................. 124

Acknowledgments .............................................................................................. 127 References ............................................................................................................. 127

expanded greatly past this point once it was realized that an inorganic particle of nanoscale dimensions could be dispersed into a polymer matrix to achieve enhancements in properties above and beyond that expected for a traditional filled system. There are numerous reviews and books on the subject of polymer nanocomposites today and what they can do [7-12], including the book that this chapter appears in, but the feature that has really driven the field of polymer nanocomposite research is that these materials are multifunctional. The nanoscale particles do more than just reinforce the polymer at the nanoscale, they completely change and often enhance the properties of the entire composite in the areas of thermal, electrical, mechanical, gas-barrier, optical, and flammability properties. This last property, flammability, is the area of emphasis of this chapter, which will explain how nanocomposites enhance flammability performance, how nanocomposites can provide improvements in flame retardancy, and where research in this field is likely headed in the next 5 to 10 years.