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Carbon nanotubes - a new class of flame retardants for polymers

SpecialChem / Feb 12, 2003

Flame retardant nanocomposites were synthesized by melt-blending ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymers (EVA) with multi wall carbon nanotubes. Fire property measurements by cone calorimeter revealed that the incorporation of multi wall carbon nanotubes into EVA significantly reduced the peak heat release rates compared to the virgin EVA. Peak heat release rates of EVA with multi wall carbon nanotubes were slightly improved compared to EVA nanocomposites based on modified layered silicates. Char formation was the main important factor for these improvements. There was also a synergistic effect by the combination of carbon nanotubes and modified layered silicates resulting in an overall more perfect closed surface with improved heat release values. Fire hazards are mainly the result of the combination of different factors including * ignitability * ease of extinction * flammability of the generated volatiles * amount of the heat released on burning * rate of heat release * flame spread, smoke obscuration and * smoke toxicity.

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