Simultaneous fire safety enhancement and mechanical reinforcement of poly(lactic acid) biocomposites with hexaphenyl (nitrilotris(ethane-2,1-diyl))tris(phosphoramidate)

Benjamin Tawiah, Bin Yu, Ruichao Wei, Richard K.K. Yuen, Wei Chen, John H. Xin, Bin Fei

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is an important bioplastic polymer with wide engineering applications, but has relatively low tensile strength and high susceptibility to flames. This manuscript reports the synthesis of a new cyclo-phosphorus-nitrogen flame retardant (FR) - hexaphenyl (nitrilotris(ethane-2,1-diyl))tris(phosphoramidate) (HNETP) for concurrent FR and tensile strength enhancement. 1H, 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Fourier Transform Infra-red spectra showed that HNETP was successfully synthesized. The FR properties of PLA/HNETP composites were investigated, and the peak heat release rate (PHRR) reduced by ˜ 51.3%, total heat released (THR) ˜ 43.1%, and carbon monoxide (CO) production by ˜ 46.5% with 3 wt% HNETP loading. The fire performance index increased by ˜ 65.8%, while the fire growth index decreased by ˜ 56.7%. The tensile strength and the Young's Modulus improved to ˜ 67.4 and ˜ 87.8% respectively. A significant increase in limiting oxygen index (LOI) (32.5%) was attained with a V-0 rating in the vertical burning test. TG-IR study showed considerable reduction in pyrolysis gaseous products by the PLA/HNETP composites compared to PLA. Insignificant changes were observed in the glass transition and the melting temperature of PLA and PLA/HNETP biocomposites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120856
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2019


  • Biocomposites
  • Cone calorimeter
  • Flame retardant
  • Mechanical properties
  • Poly(lactic acid)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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