The Efficiency of Biobased Carbonization Agent and Intumescent Flame Retardant on Flame Retardancy of Biopolymer Composites and Investigation of their Melt-Spinnability

Muhammad Maqsood*, Fabian Langensiepen, Gunnar Seide

*Corresponding author for this work

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The objective of this study is to assess the efficiency of biobased carbonization agent in intumescent formulations (IFRs) to examine the flame retardant properties of polylactic acid (PLA) composites and to investigate their melt-spinnability. We used phosphorous-based halogen free flame retardant (FR) and kraft lignin (KL) as bio-based carbonization agent. After melt compounding and molding into sheets by hot pressing various fire related characteristics of IFR composites were inspected and were characterized by different characterization methods. It was fascinating to discover that the introduction of 5-20 wt% FR increased the limiting oxygen index (LOI) of PLA composites from 20.1% to 23.2-33.5%. The addition of KL with content of 3-5 wt% further increased the LOI up to 36.6-37.8% and also endowed PLA/FR/KL composites with improved anti-dripping properties. Cone calorimetry revealed a 50% reduction in the peak heat release rate of the IFR composites in comparison to 100% PLA and confirmed the development of an intumescent char structure containing residue up to 40%. For comparative study, IFR composites containing pentaerythritol (PER) as a carbonization agent were also prepared and their FR properties were compared. IFR composites were melt spun and mechanical properties of multifilament yarns were tested. The analysis of char residues by energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) and SEM images confirmed that PLA/FR/KL composites developed a thicker and more homogeneous char layer with better flame retardant properties confirming that the fire properties of PLA can be enhanced by using KL as a carbonization agent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1513
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2019


  • PLA
  • bio-resources
  • cone calorimetry
  • intumescence
  • melt-spinning

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