Fire Performance of Nylon Nanocomposites Fabricated by Melt Intercalation
This paper presents results of a study carried out to evaluate the effects of an organomodified nanoclay, either on its own or in combination with a polyimide, upon the fire performance of a commercially available nylon. The fire performance, as determined using cone calorimetry showed that up to 40% improvement in the peak heat release rate could be achieved at addition levels of only around 5wt% of nanoclay. The level of improvement was shown to be strongly dependent upon nanoscale dispersion with a more highly exfoliated morphology, as determined using transmission electron microscopy, which showed a greater reduction in the peak heat release rate compared to a more ordered intercalated structure. Investigation of the mechanism of fire retardancy showed that the reduction in the heat release rate is due to the nanoclay reinforcing the char layer which prevented combustible products from entering in to the gaseous phase. Generally, though, the time to ignition is unaffected by nanoclay additions. The addition of the polyimide to the nanoclay reinforced nylon was inconclusive showing little evidence of further improvements in fire performance.
J.K. Kim, D.Z. Wo, L.M. Zhou, H.T. Huang, K.T. Lau and M. Wang
R. J. Varley et al., "Fire Performance of Nylon Nanocomposites Fabricated by Melt Intercalation", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 334-335, pp. 737-740, 2007