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V Speciality Particulate Fillers

Mineral Filler Fire Retardants

17

Fiona Hewitt and T. Richard Hull

Contents

Introduction...................................................................................... 330

Fire Retardant Development................................................................. 330

Mineral Filler Fire Retardants............................................................... 331

Types of Mineral Filler Fire Retardants......................................................... 332

Metal Hydroxides............................................................................ 332

Hydromagnesite and Huntite Mixtures...................................................... 333

Carbonates................................................................................... 333

Boehmite..................................................................................... 334

Mode of Action.................................................................................. 334

Thermal Analysis Techniques............................................................... 335

Fire Retardant Effects of Mineral Fillers.................................................... 336

Quantifying the Fire Retardant Effects...................................................... 338

Other Considerations........................................................................ 340

Applications..................................................................................... 342

Test Methods.................................................................................... 343

Limiting Oxygen Index...................................................................... 344

Bunsen Burner Test UL 94.................................................................. 347

Cone Calorimetry ........................................................................... 347

Microscale Measurement of Heat Release.................................................. 350

Environmental Sustainability.................................................................... 350

Conclusions...................................................................................... 351

References....................................................................................... 352

Abstract

Mineral filler fire retardants are one of the most important classes of fire retardant, and one of the most important classes of polymer additives. In addition to

F. Hewitt (*) • T.R. Hull (*)

Centre for Fire and Hazard Science, School of Physical Sciences and Computing, University of

Central Lancashire, Preston, UK

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it ; This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

R. Rothon (ed.), Fillers for Polymer Applications, Polymers and Polymeric Composites: A Reference Series, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-28117-9_2

reducing the flammability of the polymer to within acceptable limits, they can also provide structural integrity and reinforcement to the polymer composite. Mineral filler fire retardants operate through endothermic decomposition with the release of an inert gas or vapor. Four fire retardant effects have been quantified: heat capacity of the filler, decomposition endotherm, heat capacity of the gas or vapor, and heat capacity of the residue. In specific fire scenarios, other factors, such as shielding from radiant heat, may also play a critical role. Unfortunately, the screening techniques for assessment of fire retardant performance do not adequately capture real fire behavior. The common techniques, and their deficiencies, in relation to mineral filler fire retardants are reviewed.

Keywords

Fire • Flame • Retardant • Aluminum hydroxide • ATH • Alumina trihydrate

Introduction

The flammability of synthetic polymers, coupled with the ease of incorporation of additives, has created a large market for mineral filler fire retardants. On exposure to external heat, such as the conditions of fires, the long chains composing a polymer’s structure are thermally decomposed to shorter fragments. Eventually fragmentation occurs to such an extent that the small molecules produced volatilize and enter the gas phase. With continued heat application and the presence of an ignition source (flame, spark, etc.) or under autoignition conditions, these gas phase molecules undergo rapid reactions propagated by high-energy radicals resulting in flaming combustion.

 
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