Influence of flame retardant additives on the processing characteristics and physical properties of ABS
Antimony trioxide (Sb203) and halogenated additives are used together in flameretarded formulations due to their synergistic retardant properties. A study has been made to determine the effects of adding different grades of Sb203 (dSD particle sizes 0.11 um, 0.52um and 1.31 um) into ABS polymer either alone or with commercial brominated materials (BTBPE, TBBA, DBDPO) and an experimental bromine grade (sDBDPO). The Sb20 3 was added at 4wt% loadings and the bromines at 20wt% loadings. The results consider the influence of the additives on processing, mechanical, morphological and flame retardant properties. All compounds were produced using a twin-screw co-rotating extruder and then an injection moulder was used to mould notched impact (falling weight testing), flexural, LOI and UL-94 flame test bars. Samples of all the compounded formulations were titrated to determine Sb20 3 and Br contents. Fracture surface, morphology, size and dispersion analysis was carried out using both SEM and TEM equipment. Osmium tetroxide (OS04) staining was used to determine relative locations of filler particles and polybutadiene phase. Additions of the different antimony trioxide grades showed that the 0.52um and 1.31 um grades lowered impact energy absorption (-25 to -30%) when added at 4wt% loading. The use of a sub-micron size grade (0.1 um) did not significantly lower impact properties (-3%) and had similarly small effects on the flexural modulus and flexural strength. Additions of the brominated materials had much greater effects causing large reductions in impact properties (-20 to :70%). The presence of the bromines generally increased flexural modulus and lowered flexural strength with the exception of TB BA, which increased both modulus and strength. Compounds containing both 1.31 um Sb203 and bromines suffered a further reduction in impact energies, with the bromine properties dominating. Using the 0.1 um Sb20 3 grade again improved impact and flexural properties compared to the 1.31 um grade. The 0.1 um grade resulted in improvements in fire resistance as measured by the UL-94 properties when used with all bromine grades.