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The impact of polyaniline in phosphorus flame retardant ethylene-propylene-diene-rubber (EPDM)

Zirnstein, Benjamin, Schulze, Dietmar, Schartel, Bernhard
Thermochimica acta 2019 v.673 pp. 92-104
ammonium polyphosphates, calorimeters, combustion, fire safety, flame retardants, heat, mechanical properties, mechanism of action, phosphorus, polymers, rubber
Usually elastomers are loaded with high amounts of flame retardants to fulfill fire safety requirements. In this study the potential char precursor polyaniline (PANI) and the established fire retardant pentaerythritol (PER) were implemented in ethylene-propylene-diene monomer rubber (EPDM). PANI and PER were used in low loadings (7 phr) and combined with two phosphorous flame retardants, ammonium polyphosphate (APP) and a piperazine-pyrophosphate/phosphoric acid compound (FP), to boost their performance. A comprehensive study is presented, explaining the impact of PANI on curing and mechanical properties, including compensation for the plasticizer-like effect of APP in EPDM, and improved flame retardancy. In the cone calorimeter test, the combination of EPDM/FP/PANI reduced the effective heat of combustion by 20%. All nine EPDM rubber compounds were investigated with the LOI and UL 94 tests, cone calorimeter, FMVSS 302 and glow wire testing to quantify fire performance. The PANI-containing EPDM rubbers, EPDM/APP/PANI and EPDM/FP/PANI outperformed the corresponding PER containing, EPDM/APP/PER and EPDM/FP/PER rubbers in various tests. Moreover, the study investigated the impact of PANI and PER on the mode of action of the phosphorus species and showed that the addition of PANI increased the amount of phosphorus in the condensed phase. To receive a broader understanding of the flame retardant mode of action of PANI in combination with APP and FP, calculations were carried out to estimate the impact of PANI on the protective layer effect.