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Investigation of flame retardancy properties of polypropylene-colemanite and intumescent flame retardant additive blends

Merve Kahraman, Nilgün Kızılcan
Published: 10 September 2022

Abstract: Polypropylene (PP) represents a considerable proportion of polyolefins (PO) used in different industrial applications such as automobile components, textiles, packaging, insulation, medical devices, various housewares and household appliances due to its efficient cost, desirable mechanical, thermal and electrical properties, easy processability and recyclability. Because of its carbonaceous structure, PP is a highly flammable material with a LOI value of 18 that presents serious fire hazard. In this research, Intumescent flame retardant (IFR) and colemanite were added to polypropylene to compose 30% of the total mass of the polymeric compounds and the synergistic effect of colemanite with intumescent flame retardant (IFR) additive in PP was investigated by limiting oxygen index (LOI), glow wire test (GWT), UL-94 test and mechanical properties measurements. The LOI, UL 94 and glow wire test results showed that colemanite had a significant effect on flame retardancy and LOI value which can reach to 37.6 % with loading level of 2 wt.% colemanite at the total amount of flame retardant additives kept constant at 30 wt.%. Additionally, the PP/IFR compounds passed UL 94 V0 rating and both 750 °C and 850 °C glow wire tests and with 2-8 wt.% colemanite loading. According to TGA analyses, the results indicated that colemanite improved the thermal stability of PP/IFR compounds and also promoted the formation of char layer. When colemanite mineral added to polypropylene without IFR system, it has no effect on flame retardancy properties of polypropylene. When all properties have been taken into consideration, colemanite can be used up to 6 wt% in IFR.
Keywords: colemanite / flame retardant / packaging / polypropylene / structure / wire / glow

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