Flame Retardant Polyester

R.Senthil Kumar sen29iit@yahoo.co.in sen29iit@gmail.com

What is Flame retardant?

A fabric is deemed to be flame retardant if it does not ignite and create a self-sustaining flame when subjected to a heat source. Transition temperature, melting temperature, pyrolysis temperature and combustion temperature are very important when considering the flame-retardants of fibre.
R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

Thermal Behavior of Fibres

The effect of heat on a textile material can produce physical as well as chemical change. In thermoplastic fibres, the physical changes occur at the second order transition (Tg), and melting temperature (Tm), while the chemical changes take place at pyrolysis temperatures (Tp) at which thermal degradation occurs. Textile combustion is a complex process that involves heating, decomposition leading to gasification (fuel generation), ignition and flame propagation.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

When a fibre is subjected to heat, it pyrolyses at Tp and volatile liquids and gases, which are combustible, act as the fuels for further combustion. After pyrolysis, if the temperature is equal to or greater than combustion temperature Tc, flammable volatile liquids burn in the presence of oxygen to give products such as carbon dioxide and water.

The rate of this initial rise in temperature depends on the specific heat of the fibre, thermal conductivity and heat of pyrolysis.
R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

Retardation Mechanism:

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

How to impart Flame Retardancy?
A flame retardant must interfere with the feedback mechanism in one or more of the following ways :
 

Removal of heat. Increase pyrolysis temperature Tp at which significant volatiles form.

Decrease the amount of combustible gases and promote char formation. This should happen at reduced temperature so ignition will not occur. Prevent the access of oxygen to the flame or dilute the fuel gases in the flame to concentration below which they will not support combustion. Increase the combustion temperature, Tc, of the fuels and/or interfere with their flame chemistry.
R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

Polyester can be made flame retardant via the following three routes:
1.

By introduction of phosphorus containing compounds in the fibre either through physical mixing with the polymer or through chemical reaction with the polymer. By introduction of halogen containing compounds in the fibre either through physical mixing with the polymer or through chemical reaction with the polymer. By using aromatic raw materials for producing wholly aromatic polyester with rigid chains.

2.

3.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

1.Use of phosphorus containing compounds.

5-10% by wt. of phosphorus containing compound is added either during esterification or polycondensation or dry mixed with the granules and complete mixing achieved during melt spinning. When phosphorus containing fabric burns, the burning portions of the fabric drip down as molten lumps and continue to burn on the floor. The flaming intensity is consequently reduced and the burning retarded.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

2.Use of halogen containing compounds

10-15% by wt. is physically or chemically combined with the polyester. The compound tris(2,3-dibromopropyl) phosphate was once widely used as a flame retardant for polyester but was abandoned due to carcinogenic effect. 2,2 bis(3,5-dibromo 4-(2-hydroxy ethoxy)phenyl) propane is commercially available as a flame retardant additive. trade name – Delion PFR-501).It is added at the beginning of polycondensation reaction.It behaves just like a monomer of polyester and does not exude out.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

3.Aromatic Polyester

The composition parameter (CP) describing the combined effect of hydrogen and halogen content should be less than one for flame retardant materials. This indicates that flame-retardant (FR) polymers and fibres should be intrinsically aromatic in nature with a CP value of <1.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

LOI and Elemental Composition Parameter (CP)

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

Flame Retardant Additives for Polyester fibres

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

Thank You  R.Senthil Kumar Senior Lecturer, Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore-06, sen29iit@yahoo.co.in

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.

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