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Comparative Effects of the Fire Behaviours of Potassium Aluminium Sulphate and Potassium Sesquicarbonate on Flexible Polyether Foam

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The effects of potassium aluminium sulphate (K2SO4·Al2SO4)3·24H2O) and potassium sesquicarbonate (K2CO3·2KHCO3·3/2 H2O) as flame retardants on fire properties of flexible polyether foam was studied. Potassium sesquicarbonate performed better at increasing the ignition time and the amount of char formed and both factors improved with flame retardant concentration. However, the afterglow time, flame duration, burn length and flame propagation rate decreased with increase in concentration. The flame propagation rates of foam samples with alum were higher than the corresponding rates with potassium sesquicarbonate. This could be attributed to the nature of their decomposition products at pyrolysing/flaming temperature. Thermogravimetric analyses showed that the flame retardants delayed the onset of degradation. The delay effect was higher with potassium sesquicarbonate (akanwu) than with potassium aluminium sulphate (alum). Again, the delay effect was affected by the flame retardant concentration.
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Keywords: Fire; flame retardant; ignition time; polyether foam

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry,Nnamdi Azikiwe University, P.M.B 5025, AwkaAnambra State, Nigeria

Publication date: May 3, 2012

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