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Flame Retardant

R.Senthil Kumar
What is Flame retardant?
 A fabric is deemed to be flame retardant if it
does not ignite and create a self-sustaining
flame when subjected to a heat source.

 Transition temperature, melting temperature,

pyrolysis temperature and combustion
temperature are very important when
considering the flame-retardants of fibre.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
Thermal Behavior of Fibres
 The effect of heat on a textile material can produce
physical as well as chemical change.

 In thermoplastic fibres, the physical changes occur at the

second order transition (Tg), and melting temperature
(Tm), while the chemical changes take place at pyrolysis
temperatures (Tp) at which thermal degradation occurs.

 Textile combustion is a complex process that involves

heating, decomposition leading to gasification (fuel
generation), ignition and flame propagation.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
 When a fibre is subjected to heat, it pyrolyses at Tp and volatile
liquids and gases, which are combustible, act as the fuels for
further combustion. After pyrolysis, if the temperature is equal
to or greater than combustion temperature Tc, flammable
volatile liquids burn in the presence of oxygen to give products
such as carbon dioxide and water.

 The rate of this initial rise in temperature depends on the specific

heat of the fibre, thermal conductivity and heat of pyrolysis.
R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
Retardation Mechanism:

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
How to impart Flame Retardancy?

A flame retardant must interfere with the feedback mechanism in one or more of
the following ways :

 Removal of heat.

 Increase pyrolysis temperature Tp at which significant volatiles form.

 Decrease the amount of combustible gases and promote char formation. This
should happen at reduced temperature so ignition will not occur.

 Prevent the access of oxygen to the flame or dilute the fuel gases in the flame to
concentration below which they will not support combustion.

 Increase the combustion temperature, Tc, of the fuels and/or interfere with their
flame chemistry.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
Polyester can be made flame retardant via the
following three routes:
1. By introduction of phosphorus containing compounds in the
fibre either through physical mixing with the polymer or
through chemical reaction with the polymer.

2. By introduction of halogen containing compounds in the fibre

either through physical mixing with the polymer or through
chemical reaction with the polymer.

3. By using aromatic raw materials for producing wholly aromatic

polyester with rigid chains.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
1.Use of phosphorus containing compounds.

 5-10% by wt. of phosphorus containing compound is added either

during esterification or polycondensation or dry mixed with the granules
and complete mixing achieved during melt spinning.

 When phosphorus containing fabric burns, the burning portions of the

fabric drip down as molten lumps and continue to burn on the floor.

 The flaming intensity is consequently reduced and the burning retarded.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
2.Use of halogen containing compounds
 10-15% by wt. is physically or chemically combined with the

 The compound tris(2,3-dibromopropyl) phosphate was once widely

used as a flame retardant for polyester but was abandoned due to
carcinogenic effect.

 2,2 bis(3,5-dibromo 4-(2-hydroxy ethoxy)phenyl) propane is

commercially available as a flame retardant additive. trade name –
Delion PFR-501).It is added at the beginning of polycondensation
reaction.It behaves just like a monomer of polyester and does not
exude out.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
3.Aromatic Polyester

 The composition parameter (CP) describing the combined effect

of hydrogen and halogen content should be less than one for
flame retardant materials.

 This indicates that flame-retardant (FR) polymers and fibres

should be intrinsically aromatic in nature with a CP value of <1.

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
LOI and Elemental Composition Parameter (CP)

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
Flame Retardant Additives for Polyester fibres

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.
Thank You
 R.Senthil Kumar

Senior Lecturer,
Kumaraguru College of Technology,

R.Senthil Kumar,KCT,Coimbatore.