Durability of Flame-Retarded, Co-Extruded Profiles Based on High-Density Polyethylene and Wheat Straw Residues

Arne Schirp, Jan Dannenberg
2021 Molecules  
At present, little information is available in the scientific literature related to the durability (weathering resistance) of fire-retarded wood and natural fiber-reinforced thermoplastics. In this work, thermoplastic profiles for façade applications based on high-density polyethylene, wheat straw particles, and fire-retardants were extruded and their reaction-to-fire performance before and after artificial weathering evaluated. Profile geometries were either solid or hollow-core profiles, and
more » ... core profiles, and fire-retardants (FR) were added either in the co-extruded layer or in the bulk. Various FR for inclusion in the co-extruded layer were screened based on UL-94 tests. For profile extrusion, two types of FR were chosen: a coated intumescent combination based on ammonium polyphosphate (APP) and an APP coated with melamine and without formaldehyde. Before weathering, the peak heat release rate (pHRR) and the total heat release (THR), which were determined using cone calorimeter measurements, were reduced by up to 64% and 67% due to the FR. However, even before weathering, pHRR of the profiles was relatively high, with best (lowest) values between 230 and 250 kW/m2 under the test conditions. After 28 days of artificial weathering, changes in reaction-to-fire performance and color were evaluated. Use of the APP in the co-extruded layer worsened color change compared to the formulation without APP but the pHRR was not significantly changed. The influence of weathering on the fire behavior was small compared to the difference between fire-retarded and non-fire-retarded materials. Results from the cone calorimeter were analyzed with regard to ETAG 028, which provides requirements related to the durability of fire performance of building products. In many formulations, increase in THR was less than 20% compared to before weathering, which would place some of the profiles in class C or better (EN 13501-1). However, due to the high pHRR, at best, class D was obtained under the conditions of this study. In addition to cone calorimeter measurements, results from the single flame source test, limiting oxygen index determination and thermogravimetric analysis, are shown and discussed. Strength properties, water uptake and swelling of the profiles, thermal conductivity, and energy dispersive X-ray data are also presented.
doi:10.3390/molecules26113217 pmid:34072122 fatcat:jkh74m6uhjgyfnwdbvzsyed3ge