Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (6): 1905052.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201905052

Special Issue: Thermal Analysis Kinetics and Thermokinetics

• Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Preparation of BaO·4B2O3·5H2O Nanomaterial and Evaluation of Its Flame Retardant Performance to PP by Thermal Decomposition Kinetics Method

Jing Miao,Ruifeng Guo,Zhihong Liu*()   

  • Received:2019-05-14 Accepted:2019-06-12 Published:2019-12-18
  • Contact: Zhihong Liu
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21573142)


Borate is considered one of the most important additives for improving the fire-resistance of combustible polymers because of its smoke suppression, low toxicity, and good thermal stability. However, the size of prepared borate is usually in the micrometer range, which makes it difficult to disperse in a polymer matrix, thus hindering its use as fire-retardant material. The preparation and application of borate nanomaterial as flame retardant is considered an effective method. However, the preparation of barium borate nanomaterials as flame retardant has not been reported. In this paper, nanosheets and nanoribbons with different sizes for a new barium borate BaO·4B2O3·5H2O are prepared by hydrothermal method, and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectrum (FT-IR), thermogravimetric analysis-differential scanning calorimetry (TG-DSC), and scanning electron microscope (SEM). The flame-retardant properties of polypropylene (PP)/BaO·4B2O3·5H2O composites are investigated by thermogravimetric analysis (TG), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) thermal analysis methods and limited oxygen index (LOI) method. Considering the near TG mass losses and the near LOI values for PP with 10% prepared BaO·4B2O3·5H2O nanosheet and nanoribbon, their flame-retardant properties need to be further evaluated by non-isothermal decomposition kinetic method. The apparent activation energy for this decomposition reaction was obtained from the slope by plotting ln(β/Tp2) against 1/Tp according to Kissinger's model. With the reduction of TG mass loss, increased heat absorption in DSC under N2 atmosphere, increased apparent activation energy Ea for the thermal decomposition of PP/BaO·4B2O3·5H2O composite as well as increased LOI value, the flame-retardant performance of prepared BaO·4B2O3·5H2O samples with PP gradually improved from bulk to nanoribbon to nanosheet. This can be attributed to the decrease in the size of BaO·4B2O3·5H2O samples because the smaller sample size leads to improved dispersion and increased contact area with the polymer. The flame-retardant mechanism is discussed by analyzing the after-flame chars of the PP/BaO·4B2O3·5H2O composite in SEM images, which show that the char layer is more compact and continuous for the PP/BaO·4B2O3·5H2O nanosheet composite. The influence of loading BaO·4B2O3·5H2O nanomaterials on the mechanical properties of PP is also tested using a universal material testing machine, in which the PP/BaO·4B2O3·5H2O nanosheet composite has higher tensile strength. The PP/BaO·4B2O3·5H2O nanosheet composite has the best flame-retardant and mechanical properties, which is promising to be developed for the application as flame-retardant material.

Key words: Barium borate, Nanomaterials, Preparation, Flame retardant performance, Mechanical property, Thermal decomposition kinetics method