Flame retardant poly (lactic acid) biocomposites based on azo-boron coupled 4,4′-sulfonyldiphenol and its combination with calcium lignosulfonate—Crystalline and mechanical properties

Benjamin Tawiah, Bin Yu, Wei Yang, Richard K.K. Yuen, Bin Fei

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) has become an important biopolymer with excellent properties but has limited engineering applications where fire safety is ultimate. An efficient flame retardant (FR) for PLA biocomposites based on azo-boron coupled with 4,4′-sulfonyldiphenol-(((1E,1′E)-(sulfonylbis(6-hydroxy-3,1-phenylene))bis (diazene-2,1-diyl))bis(3,1-phenylene))diboronic acid (SBDA) was synthesized and characterized by FTIR, 1H and 13C NMR spectra. SBDA was combined with calcium lignosulfonate (Calig) and compounded with PLA, and the FR, crystallization, and mechanical properties were investigated. The addition of 15 wt% FR (10 wt% Calig and 5 wt% SBDA) into PLA led to important reductions in peak heat release rate (PHRR) approximately 54%, total heat release (THR) approximately 28.6%, and the average effective heat of combustion (AEHC) approximately 29.4%. The fire performance index and fire growth index improved by approximately 56.4% and 33.1%, respectively. A V-0 rating (vertical burning test) and a limiting oxygen index value of 28.8% were achieved for the FR PLA biocomposites. The combinatory SBDA/Calig reduced the segmental mobility of PLA in the organic-inorganic interface with insignificant changes in the elongation at break and the Young Modulus. TG-IR study showed significant reductions in pyrolysis gaseous products for the composites compared with PLA. This research work will expand the frontiers of knowledge on use of boron and calcium functionalized polyaromatic polyols for reducing the flammability of PLA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2207-2220
Number of pages14
JournalPolymers for Advanced Technologies
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • biocomposites
  • compression molding
  • cone calorimeter
  • flame retardant
  • mechanical properties
  • pyrolysis products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics

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