A flame-retardant epoxy resin (EP) was synthesized based on a novel reactive phosphorus-containing monomer, 4-[(5,5-dimethyl-2-oxide-1,3,2-dioxaphosphorinan-4-yl)oxy]-phenol (DODPP), and its structures were characterized by FTIR,1H NMR and31P NMR spectra. The DODPP-EP3/LWPA (low molecular weight polyamide), which contains 2.5% phosphorus, can reach UL-94 V-0 rating and a limiting oxygen index (LOI) value of 30.2%. The thermal properties and burning behaviours of cured epoxy resins were investigated by differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), thermogravimetry (TG), LOI, UL-94 tests and cone calorimetry. The morphologies of residues of cured epoxy resins were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). DSC shows that the glass-transition temperatures of cured epoxy resins decrease with increasing phosphorus content. TGA shows that the onset decomposition temperatures and the maximum-rate decomposition temperatures decrease, while char yields increase, with the increase of phosphorus content. The data from the cone calorimeter tests give the evidence that heat release rate (HRR), peak heat release rate (PHRR), average heat release rate (Av-HRR), average mass loss rate (Av-MLR) and the fire growth rate index (FIGRA) decrease significantly for DODPP-EP3/LWPA. SEM shows that the DODPP-EP3/LWPA forms lacunaris and compact charred layers which inhibit the transmission of heat during combustion. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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