Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 133, Issue 3, pp 1241–1252 | Cite as

Enhancing the flame-retardant and smoke suppression properties of transparent intumescent fire-retardant coatings by introducing boric acid as synergistic agent

  • Zhisheng Xu
  • Zhiyong Chu
  • Long Yan


A series of novel phosphorus-boron flame retardants (BPEAs) were successfully synthesized by introducing boric acid (BA) into cyclic phosphate ester acid (PEA) via the esterification and thoroughly characterized by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Five kinds of transparent fire-retardant coatings applied to wood substrates were produced by thoroughly mixing amino resin with PEA and BPEAs. The effects of BA on the optical transparency, thermal stability, fire performance and smoke emission characteristics of the coatings were investigated by various analytical instruments. The transparency analysis reveals that the transparency value of the coatings gradually decreases with increasing BA loading, and MPEA4 with the highest BA content still exhibits a high degree of transparency. The results from fire protection, cone calorimeter and smoke density tests show that the introduction of BA greatly decreases the flame spread rating, mass loss, char index, heat release rate, smoke production rate, total heat release, total smoke release and specific optical density of the coatings concomitant with the increase in the residual mass and intumescent factor, which is ascribed to the formation of a more dense and continuous intumescent char judging by digital photographs and scanning electron microscope images. Thermo-gravimetric analysis indicates that the onset decomposition temperature, high-temperature stability and residual mass of the coatings greatly improve with increasing BA content. FTIR analysis shows that the introduction of BA into the coatings contributes to generate more phosphorus-rich cross-linked structures and aromatic structures and then create a compact and intumescent char layer, thereby effectively enhancing the flame retardancy and smoke suppression properties of the coatings.


Transparent fire-retardant coating Boric acid Smoke suppression Flame retardancy Thermal behavior 



This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51676210) and the Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 2018JJ3668), the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of Central South University and the Project funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2017M612587).


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Disaster Prevention Science and Safety Technology, School of Civil EngineeringCentral South UniversityChangshaChina

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