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Optimizing Flame Retardancy and Durability of Melamine-Formaldehyde/Solid-Urban-Waste Composite Panels



Mauro Zammarano, Carola Esposito Corcione, Francesca Ferrari, Raffaella Striani, Laura J. Dubrulle, Paolo Visconti, Antonio Greco


In our previous study, an innovative method for sterilization, inertization, and valorization of organic fraction of the municipal solid waste (OFMSW), to be recycled in the production of composite panels, had been developed. In this follow-up work, the effects of fire retardants on fire performance, durability, and mechanical properties of the composite panels based on OFMSW and melamine-formaldehyde resin were investigated. The performance of panels without fire retardants (control panels) was compared to panels containing either mono-ammonium phosphate (PFR) or aluminium trihydrate (ATH) at a loading of 1 % and 10 % by mass (modified panels). As shown by cone calorimetry, the total heat released was already low (about 31 MJ/m2 at 50 kW/m2) in the control panels, further decreased in the modified panels with the addition of fire retardants, and reached the lowest value (about 1.4 MJ/m2) with 10 % by mass of PFR. Hence, the addition of fire retardants had a beneficial effect on response to fire of the panels, however, it also reduced the mechanical properties of the panels as measured by flexural tests. The deterioration of the mechanical properties was particularly obvious in panels containing 10 % by mass of fire retardants and was further enhanced by artificial accelerated weathering, carried out by boiling tests. Ultimately, the panels containing 1 % by mass PFR offered the best balance of fire resistance, durability, and mechanical performance within the formulations investigated in this study.


solid urban waste, melamine-formaldehyde, valorization process, fire retardant, durability


Zammarano, M. , Esposito, C. , Ferrari, F. , Striani, R. , Dubrulle, L. , Visconti, P. and Greco, A. (2021), Optimizing Flame Retardancy and Durability of Melamine-Formaldehyde/Solid-Urban-Waste Composite Panels, Polymers, [online],, (Accessed July 12, 2024)


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Created February 26, 2021, Updated April 6, 2021