Modelled decomposition mechanism of flame retarded poly(vinyl acetate) by melamine isocyanurate
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Model polymer poly(vinyl acetate) (PVAc) was combined with melamine isocyanurate (MIC) as intumescent flame retardant composite. This work emphasises on the study of the decomposition mechanism and compared with a single fire test in order to show its performance as flame retarded composite. As such, mass loss cone calorimetry tests were performed and compared with it inert and oxidative decompositions in lab tests. PVAc/MIC composites cannot be ignited with high loadings MIC. Difference curves in oxidative conditions revealed that the composites with MIC show only positive differences, indicating a high stabilisation, especially in the temperature region of a mild flame (500–700 °C). Experiments performed with TG coupled with mass spectroscopy and analyses on partially degraded residues with solid-state 13C-NMR enabled the construction of the complete decomposition mechanism. MIC has both a heat-sink FR activity as well as a crosslinking role in the stabilization of the polymer. The latter then creates a highly stabilised char at elevated temperatures in oxidative environments. The formed char starts to degrade only 100 °C higher than the pure polymer within a heating. The degradation of formed char of pure PVAc is autocatalytic; this behaviour disappears upon addition of sufficient amount of MIC. Therefore, the transport of fuel towards the gaseous phase is limited, creating an efficient flame retardant system.
KeywordsPoly(vinyl acetate) Melamine isocyanurate Intumescence Degradation mechanism TG–MS Solid-state NMR
The company TA Instruments Ltd is kindly acknowledged for the use of the TG–MS equipment.
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