Two different types of organic montmorillonite, namely quaternary ammonium salt intercalated MMT (CMMT) and quaternary phosphonium salt intercalated MMT (PMMT) were used as fillers in the flame-retardant polyamide (PA6) based on aluminium salts of diisobutylphosphinic acid (ABPA). The influence of different types of organic montmorillonite (OMMT) on the structure and properties of flame-retardant PA6 nanocomposites were systematically investigated. The X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy results suggested that the introduction of OMMT improved the dispersion of the flame retardant particles independently of the type of OMMT. The derivative thermogravimetry (DTG) curve transformed to one peak from two peaks (representing the degradation of ABPA and PA6, respectively) after incorporation of the OMMT, which further confirmed better ABPA dispersion. Viscoelastic measurements demonstrated that a mechanically stable network structure was formed with the introduction of OMMT or ABPA and OMMT, while PA6/ABPA/PMMT presented the highest storage modulus and viscosity, suggesting a more efficient network structure. From UL-94 and limited oxygen index (LOI) tests, PA6/ABPA/PMMT presented the best flame performance, with a UL-94 of V-0 and a LOI of 33%. In addition, the PA6/ABPA/PMMT presented the lowest peak heat release rate (pHRR) among the investigated samples. Combined with the char layer analysis, it can be deduced that the introduction of PMMT improved the dispersion of ABPA, and promoted the formation of more efficient network structure, before promoting more compact char structures, which finally resulted in improved flame retardancy.
He, W. T., Liao, S. T., Xiang, Y. S., Long, L. J., Qin, S. H., & Yu, J. (2018). Structure and properties study of PA6 nanocomposites flame retarded by aluminium salt of diisobutylphosphinic acid and different organic montmorillonites. Polymers, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030312