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Investigation of melamine and DOPO-derived flame retardants for the bioplastic cellulose acetate

In order to identify suitable flame retardant additives for the eco-friendly polymer cellulose acetate (CA), high-melting derivatives of the known flame retardant 9,10-dihydro-9-oxa-10-phosphaphenanthrene-10-oxide (DOPO) were combined with the thermoplastic CA and the combustion properties were tested. CA mixtures with bis-phosphonamidates (EDA-DOPO and PIP-DOPO) showed distinct flame retardation effects and a reduction of peak heat release rates (PHRR) by up to 18%. CA mixtures with MDOP, a melamine salt of DOPA (an oxidation product of DOPO), also showed considerable effects and a reduction of PHRR by up to 27%. While producing more smoke than pure CA and CA plus melamine, owing to its aromatic component, MDOP was superior to the CA mixtures with DOPO, EDA-DOPO and PIP-DOPO in this regard. The mixture of CA with melamine gave rise to a distinctly reduced formation of toxic CO and smoke when compared with pure CA. Thus, these additives can be considered for future applications of CA-based polymers with enhanced flame protection.

Publication date: 01/10/2020

Author: Justus Koedel, Christoph Callsen, Markus Weise, Florian Puchtler, Andy Weidinger, Volker Altstaedt, Rainer Schobert, Bernhard Biersack

Polymer Testing


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.