Influence of oxidation state of phosphorus on the thermal and flammability of polyurea and epoxy resin

This article was published in European Polymer Journal.


The focus of this study is an investigation of the effect of oxidation state of phosphorus in phosphorus-based flame retardants on the thermal and flame retardant properties of polyurea and epoxy resin. Three different oxidation states of phosphorus (phosphite, phosphate and phosphine oxide) additives, with different thermal stabilities at a constant phosphorus content (1.5 wt.%) have been utilized. Thermal and flame retardant properties were studied by TGA and cone calorimetry, respectively. The thermal stability of both polymers decreases upon the incorporation of phosphorus flame retardants irrespective of oxidation state and a greater amount of residue was observed in the case of phosphite. Phosphate was found to be better flame retardant in polyurea, whereas phosphite is suitable for epoxy resin. Phosphite will react with epoxy resin by trans-esterification, which is demonstrated by FTIR and 31P NMR. Further, TG–FTIR and XPS studies also provide information on flame retardancy of both polymers with phosphorus flame retardants.


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