Polystyrene Nanocomposite Solves Flammability Problem of Polymeric Foams
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian experts took a major step forward in settling the flammability problem of polystyrene foams by synthesizing a type of polystyrene nanocomposite foamed by water.
A group of researchers at University of Tehran believe that it is possible to reduce the rate of flammability of polystyrene grains and their resulting foams by adding modified nanoclay to the formulation of water expandable polystyrene grains.
According to the Iranian Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC), although the synthesis of water expandable polystyrene has been reported in 2006 for the first time, no research has been conducted yet on the effects of structural parameters of nanoclay on the synthesis steps and the properties of the final product.
Nader Taheri Qazvini and his colleagues carried out a research into analyzing the relationship between the structure of water expandable polystyrene nanocomposite foams and their properties.
They analyzed the effect of quantity and surface properties of different types of modified nanoclays on their dispersion in the polystyrene matrix.
According to the research, they evaluated properties like the dispersion of puffing agent into the grains, the size and distribution of grains sizes and the density, morphology, and ignition properties of the final foam.
The analyses showed that the addition of modified nanoclay causes an increase of water in expandable grains. Moreover, the results imply that the dispersion model of nanoclay into the polystyrene matrix affects the grains sizes, the density of grains before expansion, and cell morphology.
The best result was achieved in flaky state i.e. the maximum dispersion of nanoclay particles.
The results of the present study could find application in upstream petrochemical industry (for the production of new products) and in downstream industries especially construction industry.
Besides that, the use of a nanocomposite which is less flammable is of many benefits.