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Nanoparticle Networks Reduce the Flammability of Polymer Nanocomposites.



Takashi Kashiwagi, F Du, J F. Douglas, K I. Winey, Richard H. Harris Jr., John R. Shields


Synthetic polymeric materials are rapidly replacing more traditional inorganic materials, such as metals, and natural polymeric materials, such as wood. As these synthetic materials are flammable, they require modifications to decrease their flammability through the addition of flame-retardant compounds. Environmental regulation has restricted the use of some halogenated flame-retardant additives, initiating a search for alternative flame-retardant additives. Nanoparticle fillers are highly attractive for this purpose, because they can simultaneously improve both the physical and flammability properties of the polymer nanocomposite. We show that carbon nanotubes can surpass nanoclays as effective flame-retardant additives if they form a jammed network structure in the polymer matrix, such that the material as a whole behaves rheologically like a gel. We find this kind of network formation for a variety of highly extended carbon-based nanoparticles: single- and multiwalled nanotubes, as well as carbon nanofibres.
Nature Materials


nanocomposites, flammability, polymers, nanoparticles, flame retardants, regulations, flame retardant additives, fillers, polymethyl methacrylate, mass loss


Kashiwagi, T. , Du, F. , Douglas, J. , Winey, K. , Harris, R. and Shields, J. (2005), Nanoparticle Networks Reduce the Flammability of Polymer Nanocomposites., Nature Materials, [online], (Accessed July 21, 2024)


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Created December 1, 2005, Updated February 19, 2017