Enhanced flame retardant polymer nanocomposites

Elbasuney, Sherif (2013) Enhanced flame retardant polymer nanocomposites. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Fire is a continuous threat to life and property. The total annual UK fire loss is estimated to be 0.25% of its gross domestic product (GDP) (Goddard, 1995). According to fire statistics, more than 12 million fires break out every year in the United States, Europe, Russia, and China killing about 166,000 people and injuring several hundreds of thousands (Morgan and Wilkie, 2007). Polymers which take up 80% of the organic chemical industry, are known for their high flammability with the production of heat, corrosive toxic gases, and smoke (Bent, 2010). Improving the fire retardancy of polymeric materials is a major concern and also a major challenge. Nanotechnology could have a significant impact on polymeric materials through the achievement of polymer nanocomposites (PNs) with enhanced functional properties (Giannelis, 1996, Schartel and Batholmai, 2006). If this can be achieved, there will be an enormous increase in the use of improved flame retardant (FR) PNs in mass transportation, aerospace, and military applications where fire safety will be of utmost importance (Horrocks and Price, 2008).

In this research project nanoparticles that could have a synergistic effect with traditional FR systems, or that could have a FR action (nano-fire extinguishers), were formulated and surface modified during continuous hydrothermal synthesis (CHS). The bespoke nanoparticles were developed in a structure that could be easily integrated and effectively dispersed into a polymeric matrix. A solvent blending approach for integrating and dispersing colloidal organic modified nanoparticles into polymeric matrices was developed. The impact of nanoparticles of different morphologies including nanospheres, nanoplates, and nanorods on epoxy mechanical, thermal, and flammability properties was evaluated. A laboratory based technique using a Bunsen, video footage, and image analysis was developed to quantify the nanocomposite's direct flame resistance in a repeatable fashion. A new self extinguishing epoxy nanocomposite was developed which showed an enhanced performance in extreme conditions and with good mechanical properties.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Lester, E.
Keywords: Fire resistant polymers, nanocomposites (Materials), nanoparticles
Subjects: T Technology > TH Building construction
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
Item ID: 14587
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 10:19
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2016 06:20
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/14587

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