Flame Retardant System for Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) Polymer Blended with Montmorillonite Clay via Melt Processing




Li, Rui

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This research focused on modification of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) polymer with montmorillonite (MMT) clay, a non-halogenated additive, to enhance fire retardancy. ABS is a primary component of plastic computer housings, and formulation of a non-halogenated fire retardant in ABS would allow the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to recycle the plastic housing in compliance with a pending European ban on halogenated additives in computers. This study investigated potential trade-offs between mechanical properties vs fire retardancy of ABS/clay blends. Further, to understand the morphology of the clay in these blends, we blended five clays with a model polymer matrix, styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN). We varied the surface modification of the clay (quaternary ammonium ions) in order to achieve compatibility and therefore dispersion of the inorganic filler in the melt. (HE)2MT and/or M2(HT)2-125-modified clay (bishydroxyethyl and dimethyl dihydrogenated tallow quaternary ammonium ions respectively) showed improvement of fire retardancy to an ABS system, lowering the peak heat release rate (PHRR). This reduction in PHRR was a nonlinear function of clay loading. The addition of MMT clay to SAN matrix and/or ABS system showed an increase in tensile modulus, as well as decrease in tensile strength. Impact strength dropped significantly in an ABS system with the loading of the clay. A small variation in rubber content (±5%) with the same clay content did not affect fire retardant behavior significantly, but partially restored impact resistance.



fire resistant polymers, plastics, montmorillonite, fire resistant materials, clay


Li, R. (2002). Flame retardant system for acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) polymer blended with montmorillonite clay via melt processing (Unpublished thesis). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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