Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 53, Issue 8, pp 6053–6064 | Cite as

Synergistic effect between carbon nanoparticle and intumescent flame retardant on flammability and smoke suppression of copolymer thermoplastic polyurethane



Copolymer thermoplastic polyurethane (C-TPU) was extruded with intumescing flame-retardant formulations based on ammonium polyphosphate and macromolecular nitrogen phosphorus. Carbon nanofiber and carbon nanotube were used as the additional carbon source. The synergism effect of each additive and their intumescing combinations on C-TPU composites degradation, smoke suppression, flammability, and melt rheology was systematically investigated by thermogravimetric (TG), smoke density test and cone calorimeter test (CCT), etc. The TG results showed that carbon particles combined with IFR showed a notable improvement in thermostability at high temperature, and this intumescing flame-retardant system effectively catalyzed the decomposition of macromolecule volatiles that is the major source of smoke particles. This intumescing flame-retardant system also promoted the generation of compact and continual char layer, reduced the peak heat release rate by more than 80% and the smoke generation by 50% obtained from CCT. What is more, the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that this flame-retardant system could promote the formation of a char layer with network structure which helps produce composites with superior flame retardant. A synergistic effect on enhancing the limit oxygen index (LOI) and restricting the dropping of the composites is also obtained. This study has a potential contribution to the development of carbon-based flame-retardant composites.



This study is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) through Grants 51576212, 51534008, and 51622403, and the National Key Research and Development Project of China through Grants 2016YFC0802501. The authors appreciate the supports deeply.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2017_1970_MOESM1_ESM.docx (45 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 45 kb)


  1. 1.
    Wang X, Kalali EN, Wan J-T et al (2017) Carbon-family materials for flame retardant polymeric materials. Prog Polym Sci 69:22–46. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Huang GB, Wang SQ, Song PA et al (2014) Combination effect of carbon nanotubes with graphene on intumescent flame-retardant polypropylene nanocomposites. Compos Part A Appl Sci Manuf 59:18–25. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Zhang QJ, Zhan J, Zhou KQ et al (2015) The influence of carbon nanotubes on the combustion toxicity of PP/intumescent flame retardant composites. Polym Degrad Stab 115:38–44. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Liu L, Zhao XL, Ma CY et al (2016) Smoke suppression properties of carbon black on flame retardant thermoplastic polyurethane based on ammonium polyphosphate. J Therm Anal Calorim 126:1821–1830. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Yuan BH, Fan A, Yang M et al (2017) The effects of graphene on the flammability and fire behavior of intumescent flame retardant polypropylene composites at different flame scenarios. Polym Degrad Stab 143:42–56. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zhang XT, Shen Q, Zhang XY et al (2016) Graphene oxide-filled multilayer coating to improve flame-retardant and smoke suppression properties of flexible polyurethane foam. J Mater Sci 51:10361–10374. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jiao CM, Zhao XL, Song WK et al (2015) Synergistic flame retardant and smoke suppression effects of ferrous powder with ammonium polyphosphate in thermoplastic polyurethane composites. J Therm Anal Calorim 120:1173–1181. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chen XL, Jiang YF, Jiao CM (2014) Smoke suppression properties of ferrite yellow on flame retardant thermoplastic polyurethane based on ammonium polyphosphate. J Hazard Mater 266:114–121. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shi YQ, Long Z, Yu B et al (2015) Tunable thermal, flame retardant and toxic effluent suppression properties of polystyrene based on alternating graphitic carbon nitride and multi-walled carbon nanotubes. J Mater Chem A 3:17064–17073. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yuan Y, Yang HY, Yu B et al (2016) Phosphorus and nitrogen-containing polyols: synergistic effect on the thermal property and flame retardancy of rigid polyurethane foam composites. Ind Eng Chem Res 55:10813–10822. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Shi YQ, Yu B, Duan LJ et al (2017) Graphitic carbon nitride/phosphorus-rich aluminum phosphinates hybrids as smoke suppressants and flame retardants for polystyrene. J Hazard Mater 332:87–96. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Tang WF, Zhang S, Gu XY et al (2016) Effects of kaolinite nanoroll on the flammability of polypropylene nanocomposites. Appl Clay Sci 132–133:579–588. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Thostenson ET, Li WZ, Wang DZ et al (2002) Carbon nanotube/carbon fiber hybrid multiscale composites. J Appl Phys 91:6034–6037. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jagadish PR, Khalid M, Amin N et al (2017) Process optimisation for n-type Bi2Te3 films electrodeposited on flexible recycled carbon fibre using response surface methodology. J Mater Sci 52:11467–11481. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zhao XL, Chen CK, Chen XL (2016) Effects of carbon fibers on the flammability and smoke emission characteristics of halogen-free thermoplastic polyurethane/ammonium polyphosphate. J Mater Sci 51:3762–3771. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ramgobin A, Fontaine G, Penverne C et al (2017) Thermal stability and fire properties of salen and metallosalens as fire retardants in thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Materials 10:665. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    He QL, Yuan TT, Yan XR et al (2014) Flame-retardant polypropylene/multiwall carbon nanotube nanocomposites: effects of surface functionalization and surfactant molecular weight. Macromol Chem Phys 215:327–340. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Yang HF, Gong J, Wen X et al (2015) Effect of carbon black on improving thermal stability, flame retardancy and electrical conductivity of polypropylene/carbon fiber composites. Compos Sci Technol 113:31–37. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wang X, Song L, Pornwannchai W et al (2013) The effect of graphene presence in flame retarded epoxy resin matrix on the mechanical and flammability properties of glass fiber-reinforced composites. Compos Part A Appl Sci Manuf 53:88–96. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bourbigot S, Fontaine G, Gallos A et al (2011) Reactive extrusion of PLA and of PLA/carbon nanotubes nanocomposite: processing, characterization and flame retardancy. Polym Adv Technol 22:30–37. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Du BX, Fang ZP (2011) Effects of carbon nanotubes on the thermal stability and flame retardancy of intumescent flame-retarded polypropylene. Polym Degrad Stab 96:1725–1731. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wu Q, Zhu W, Zhang C et al (2010) Study of fire retardant behavior of carbon nanotube membranes and carbon nanofiber paper in carbon fiber reinforced epoxy composites. Carbon 48:1799–1806. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Makhlouf G, Hassan M, Nour M et al (2017) Evaluation of fire performance of linear low-density polyethylene containing novel intumescent flame retardant. J Therm Anal Calorim 130:1031–1041. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zhu HF, Zhu QL, Li J et al (2011) Synergistic effect between expandable graphite and ammonium polyphosphate on flame retarded polylactide. Polym Degrad Stab 96:183–189. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Disaster Prevention Science and Safety Technology, Railway CampusCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Beijing Key Laboratory of Metro Fire and Passenger Transportation SafetyChina Academy of Safety Science and TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations