Fire retardancy, thermal stability and mechanical properties of polymeric based nanocomposites
Polymeric materials have a wide variety of applications in many manufacturing industries. However, because of the molecular structures and chemical compositions of polymeric materials, they have considerably low resistances against fire or heat. Although these materials are highly flammable, their flame retardancy can be improved significantly by incorporating the flame retardant nanomaterials. Nanoclay, nanotalc and graphene are some of the examples of the flame retardant nanomaterials. These are highly cost effective and environmentally friendly for these applications. These inclusions have a great potential to improve thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties of the new materials. This study is mainly focused on the effects of nanoparticle additions in the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in terms of the flame retardancy. Five sets of nanocomposite materials were prepared using the solvent casting method at different weight percentages of the nanomaterials. The flame retardancy values of the resultant nanocomposite samples were determined using the ASTM UL 94 standard tests. The results of the experiment were also supported by the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Surface characterization of the resultant materials was carried out using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), while mechanical properties were determined through a tensile test method. Test results showed that the flame retardancy values of the new nanostructured materials were significantly enhanced in the presence of nanoscale inclusions, which may be useful for various industrial applications. This study may open up new possibilities of using many nanoscale inclusions in various polymers as flame retardant materials for different industrial applications.
Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering