Investigation of flame retarded polypropylene by high-speed planar laser-induced fluorescence of OH radicals combined with a thermal decomposition analysis

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The combustion of micrometer-sized polypropylene (PP) particles is analyzed in situ using a combination of high-speed planar laser-induced fluorescence of the OH radical (OH-PLIF) and a thermal decomposition analysis. The gas phase is investigated by multiple analytical techniques to gain comprehensive knowledge on the decomposition products of flame retardants and their effect on the combustion process. Neat PP is compared with a formulation consisting of 10 wt% of a phosphorus-containing flame retardant (pentaerythritol spirobis(methylphosphonate), PSMP) which is known to provide gas phase activity. The decomposition of the neat flame retardant, PP and the flame retardant formulation is investigated using a simultaneous analysis (STA) consisting of a thermal gravimetric analysis and a differential thermal analysis device which is coupled to Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry devices. By this, the release of decomposition products of the flame retardant additive can be determined. The excitation of OH radicals is used to temporally track the diffusion flame surrounding the particles during combustion in a laminar flow reactor. The radial distance to the peak reactivity zone of flame retardant containing particles increased by about 70 µm compared with neat PP particles. Tracking the peak OH signal in the diffusion flame, during ignition and the early phase of combustion, a decrease in the peak intensity is observed for flame retardant polymer particles. Additionally, cone calorimeter tests are used to evaluate the combustion behavior as a standard test in flame retardancy.

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The authors of Fraunhofer LBF/TU Darmstadt would like to acknowledge for financial support from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG, Projektnummer 278300368). The authors of RSM/TU Darmstadt would like to thank the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG, Projektnummer 215035359—TRR 129) for its support through CRC/Transregio 129 “Oxy-flame: Development of methods and models to describe solid fuel reactions within an oxy-fuel atmosphere.” A. Dreizler is grateful for support by the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz program of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG).

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DTA–MS–FTIR analysis: DG, CF and RR; TGA analysis: DG; OH-PLIF analysis: CG, TL, JK, AD, BB; cone calorimeter tests: FP, JB and CB.

Correspondence to Christopher Geschwindner.

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Geschwindner, C., Goedderz, D., Li, T. et al. Investigation of flame retarded polypropylene by high-speed planar laser-induced fluorescence of OH radicals combined with a thermal decomposition analysis. Exp Fluids 61, 30 (2020) doi:10.1007/s00348-019-2864-5

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