Superior flame retardancy of epoxy resin by the combined addition of graphene nanosheets and DOPO
In this paper, the thermal stability and fire retardant behavior of epoxy resin (ER) composites filled with graphene nanosheets (GNS) and 9,10-dihydro-9-oxa-10-phosphaphenanthrene-10-oxide (DOPO) were investigated. Addition of GNS and DOPO changed the decomposition pathway of ER. During combustion, DOPO played a key flame retardancy role in the gas phase and the char enhancement in the condensed phase, while GNS played an effect in the condensed phase. Addition of 5 wt% GNS and DOPO separated, the peak heat release rate (PHRR) of ER was reduced from 1194 kW m−2 to 513.9 kW m−2 and 937.1 kW m−2, respectively. With the combined addition of GNS and DOPO, the flame retardancy of ER composites was significantly improved. The PHRR was reduced to 396 kW m−2 at the addition of 2.5% GNS and 2.5% DOPO. The same tendency was obtained for the total heat release (THR), showing a synergistic effect between GNS and DOPO in improving the flame retardancy of ER composites. The combined addition of GNS and DOPO extended the diffusion path for heat and combustible gas while DOPO captured the free radicals which further retarded ER degradation.