The effect of photo-oxidation on thermal and fire retardancy of polypropylene nanocomposites
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Nanocomposites of polypropylene-graft-maleic anhydride/clay were prepared by melt blending in an extruder mixer. The nanoscale dispersion of the clay in the polymer was analysed by wide-angle X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results of XRD and TEM showed that the nanocomposites obtained were a kind of intercalated-delaminated structures side by side with different dominant states, depending on the clay used and on the processing conditions. The consequences of photo-oxidation on the thermal stability and fire retardant properties of the nanocomposites were investigated using thermogravimetric analysis and cone calorimetry tests. It appeared that this degradation dramatically affected the important properties of the nanocomposites. A loss of thermal stability and fire retardant performance was observed. This was ascribed to scission reactions that occurred during the oxidative degradation prior to thermal and fire tests.
KeywordsHeat Release Rate Clay Layer Mass Loss Rate Maleic Anhydride Ignition Time
The authors are indebted to the Volkswagen foundation for the financial support, the Federal Institute for Research and Testing (BAM) for the cone tests, Mr. Claude da Silva from the Université de Mulhouse, France, for the X-ray measurements and, Dr. Bénédicte Mailhot from the Laboratoire de Photochimie de l’Université BP de Clermont, France, for the oxidation profile.
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