A biobased Schiff base from protocatechualdehyde and its application in flame-retardant, low-smoke epoxy resin systems†
Herein, a new renewable Schiff base flame retardant 4,4′-((1E,1′E)-((oxybis(4,1-phenylene))bis(azanylylidene))bis(methanylylidene))bis(benzene-1,2-diol) (PH-ODA) was prepared by the reaction of protocatechualdehyde with 4,4′-diaminodiphenyl ether (ODA). PH-ODA (acting as a carbonization agent) combined with ammonium polyphosphate (APP) were used as intumescent flame retardants for commercial bisphenol A epoxy resin (DGEBA). For the cured epoxy resin containing 7.5% APP and 2.5% PH-ODA, the limiting oxygen index (LOI) reached 29.9% (with the V-0 rating in UL-94 test), and the peak heat release rate and total smoke production were respectively decreased by 88.1% and 68.3%, compared with pure epoxy resin. The enhancement of fire-safety performance was due to PH-ODA/APP promoting the formation of a compact intumescent char structure. It was also found that the synergism between PH-ODA and APP was helpful to enhance the fire resistance of the epoxy matrix. This work provides a facile and sustainable route for synthesizing Schiff base compounds from biomass-derived resources, possessing great potential for application in highly-effective intumescent flame retardants.