Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Effect of Flame Retardants on the Flammability and Mechanical Properties of Recycled Cellulose FiberThermoplastic Composites

Ruhul A. Khan, Haydar Zaman


In this work, recycled cellulose fiber and two different types of flame retardants, including magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2) with smaller particle size and zinc borate with antimony trioxide (ZB-AT), were heavily combined with thermoplastic polymer to create a fire retardant composite. Composites were made using a melt-blending technique and injection molding, which have a number of benefits like being inexpensive, being able to get rid of industrial materials, and having superior mechanical properties. By using horizontal burning rate and oxygen index tests, the flammability of polymer matrix, recycled cellulose fiber filled polymer matrix composites, and the flame retarding impact of magnesium hydroxide for these composites were investigated. Studies have also been done on the effects of flame retardants such zinc borate with antimony trioxide when combined with magnesium hydroxide. The flammability of a composite packed with recycled cellulose fibers can be efficiently reduced to 50% of a composite without flame retardant by adding 25% magnesium hydroxide. The flame retardant characteristic of magnesium hydroxide is shown to have a retarding effect rather than a synergetic effect when around 5% of it is replaced with zinc borate. The mechanical properties of the flame retardant filled composites exhibit somewhat worse characteristics compared to the composites without a flame retardant while exhibiting superior characteristics compared to virgin PP.

Full Text:



Tan TTM. Thermoplastic composites based on jute fibre treated with cardanol-formaldehyde. Polymers and Polymer Composites. 1997;5:273.

Yadav P, Nema A, et al. Newspaper‐reinforced plastic composite laminates: Mechanical and water uptake characteristics. Polymer Engineering & Science. 1999;39:1550-1557.

Ismail H, Salmah, et al. The effect of paper sludge content and size on the properties of polypropylene (PP)-ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) composites. Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites. 2005;24:147-159.

Yuan X, Zhang Y, et al. Maleated polypropylene as a coupling agent for polypropylene–waste newspaper flour composites. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 1999;71:333-337.

Zaman HU, Khan RA. Effect of fiber surface modifications on the properties of snake grass fiber reinforced polypropylene bio-composites. Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology. 2022;36:1439-1457.

Zaman HU, Khan RA. Surface Modification of Plant-Drive Calotropis Gigantea Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Composites. Progress in Applied Science and Technology. 2020;12:23-35.

Zaman HU, Khan RA. Surface Modified Benzoylated Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) Bast Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Composites. Advanced Journal of Science and Engineering. 2022;3:7-17.

Zaman HU, Khan RA, et al. The improvement of physicomechanical, flame retardant, and thermal properties of lignocellulosic material filled polymer composites. Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials. 2021:08927057211048535.

Zaman H, Khan RA. Fabrication and Study of Natural Plant Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites. International Journal of Polymer Science & Engineering. 2021;7:11-22.

Arbelaiz A, Fernandez B, et al. Mechanical properties of short flax fibre bundle/polypropylene composites: Influence of matrix/fibre modification, fibre content, water uptake and recycling.

Composites Science and Technology. 2005;65:1582-1592.

Arbelaiz A, Fernández B, et al. Mechanical properties of flax fibre/polypropylene composites. Influence of fibre/matrix modification and glass fibre hybridization. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing. 2005;36:1637-1644.

Demir H, Atikler U, et al. The effect of fiber surface treatments on the tensile and water sorption properties of polypropylene–luffa fiber composites. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing. 2006;37:447-456.

Son J, Yang H-S, et al. Physico-mechanical properties of paper sludge-thermoplastic polymer composites. Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials. 2004;17:509-522.

Zaman HU, Khan RA. Effect of Compatibilizing Agents on Organoclay Dispersion of Polypropylene/Organoclay Nanocomposites. Progress in Applied Science and Technology. 2021;11:9-14.

Zaman HU, Khan RA. Compatibilizing Effect of Modified Polypropylene on the Properties of Polypropylene/Organically Modified Layered Silicate Nanocomposites. International Journal of Composite Materials and Matrices. 2021;7:8-19.

Zaman HU. Influences of Layered Silicate Modification and Compatibilizers on the Properties of Polypropylene Nanocomposites. International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Processing. 2021;7:36-44.

Simitzis J, Karagiannis K, et al. Influence of biomass on the curing of novolac-composites. European Polymer Journal. 1996;32:857-863.

Kim JK, Pal K. Recent advances in the processing of wood-plastic composites. 2010.

Pearce EM, Khanna YP, Reucher D, editors. Thermal characterization of polymeric materials. New York: Academic Press; 1981.

Hilaldo CJ, editor. Flammability handbook for plastics. Lancaster, PA: Technomic; 1990.

Rigolo M, Woodhams R. Basic magnesium carbonate flame retardants for polypropylene. Polymer Engineering & Science. 1992;32:327-334.

Montezin F, Cuesta JML, et al. Flame retardant and mechanical properties of a copolymer PP/PE containing brominated compounds/antimony trioxide blends and magnesium hydroxide or talc. Fire and Materials. 1997;21:245-252.

Cross M, Cusack P, et al. Effects of tin additives on the flammability and smoke emission characteristics of halogen-free ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer. Polymer Degradation and Stability. 2003;79:309-318.

Jang J, Lee E. Improvement of the flame retardancy of paper-sludge/polypropylene composite. Polymer Testing. 2000;20:7-13.

Pal G, Macskay H, editors. Plastics their behaviour in fires. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1991.

US Industry Forecasts to 2011 and 2016 “Glass Fibers,” Freedonia, 2007.

Al-Mosawi Ali I: Study using of antimony trioxide material as a flame retardant material. M. Sc. Thesis, Engineering College, Babylon University, Iraq; 2003.

Myszak Jr E. Use of submicron inorganic flame retardants in polymeric systems. 1992.

Jang J, Chung H, et al. The effect of flame retardants on the flammability and mechanical properties of paper-sludge/phenolic composite. Polymer Testing. 2000;19:269-279.

Kozlowski R, Mieleniak B, et al. Flame resistant lignocellulosic-mineral composite particleboards.

Polymer Degradation and Stability. 1999;64:523-528.

Titelman G, Gonen Y, et al. Discolouration of polypropylene-based compounds containing magnesium hydroxide. Polymer Degradation and Stability. 2002;77:345-352.

Innes J, Innes A. Compounding metal hydrate flame retardants. Plastics, Additives and Compounding. 2002;4:22-26.

Rothon R, Hornsby P. Flame retardant effects of magnesium hydroxide. Polymer Degradation and Stability. 1996;54:383-385.

Horn WE, Grand AF, Wilkie CA, editors. Fire retardancy of polymeric materials. New York: Marcel Dekker; 2000.

Chiu SH, Wang WK. The dynamic flammability and toxicity of magnesium hydroxide filled intumescent fire retardant polypropylene. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 1998;67:989-995


  • There are currently no refbacks.