Flame retardancy mechanisms
According to their specific mechanisms, fire retardants interrupt polymer pyrolysis in one or more steps. Three of the most common flame retardancy mechanisms are described in previous studies. Gas phase inhibition mechanism, where the FRs react with the polymer under combustion in the gas phase with hydroxyl or oxygen agents at the molecular level and extinguish the combustion. Halogenated and phosphorous FRs are common in this category. Hydrated minerals (halogen free) decompose in an endothermic reaction when exposed to fire, using a cooling mechanism. They release water molecules that cool down the combustion environment of polymers. Char forming polymers (e.g. cellulose or carbon family FRs) react to combustion in a solid phase. these FRs crosslink to the polymer matrix in elevated temperatures and create a barrier layer that hinders the heat transfer and release of additional gasses. They react to form a porous carbonaceous 3D-char layer that insulate the polymer surface and slow down the pyrolysis. Intumescent FRs, such as, melamine compounds and phosphorous compounds are from this category.
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