Thermal decomposition and fire behavior of glass fiber-reinforced polyester resin composites containing phosphate-based fire-retardant additives
Ricciardi, M. R.; Antonucci, V.; Giordano, M.; Zarrelli, M.
Journal of Fire Sciences 30(4): 318-330
The thermal degradation and the fire behavior of a polyester resin containing phosphate-based fire-retardant additives and its corresponding glass fiber composites were investigated. An unsaturated commercial polyester resin was modified by the addition of three phosphate-based fire retardants: ammonium polyphosphate, silane-coated ammonium polyphosphate, and melamine pyrophosphate, at 35% w/w. The effects of the fire retardants on resin thermal decomposition and small-scale fire behavior were studied using dynamic thermogravimetric tests at different heating rates and microcalorimetric measurements according to ASTM D7309-07. Different modes of degradation with different activation energy levels for the neat resin and the phosphate-loaded resins were identified by analyzing the thermogravimetric data through the Kissinger method. Since the ammonium polyphosphate-containing resin showed greater thermal and fire performance than the other systems, it was used to manufacture unidirectional glass fiber composites by a vacuum infusion process. The oxidative pyrolysis and fire behavior of the composites produced were studied using thermogravimetric and cone calorimeter tests that demonstrated improvement of their thermal stability and fire performance.