UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Development of Biodegradable Flame-Retardant Bamboo Charcoal Composites, Part I: Thermal and Elemental Analyses Wang, Shanshan; Zhang, Liang; Semple, Kate; Zhang, Min; Zhang, Wenbiao; Dai, Chunping, 1963-


In this study, bamboo charcoal (BC) was used as a substitute filler for bamboo powder (BP) in a lignocellulose-plastic composite made from polylactic acid (PLA), with aluminum hypophosphite (AHP) added as a fire retardant. A set of BC/PLA/AHP composites were successfully prepared and tested for flame-retardancy properties. Objectives were to (a) assess compatibility and dispersibility of BC and AHP fillers in PLA matrix, and (b) improve flame-retardant properties of PLA composite. BC reduced flexural properties while co-addition of AHP enhanced bonding between PLA and BC, improving strength and ductility properties. Adding AHP drastically reduced the heat release rate and total heat release of the composites by 72.2% compared with pure PLA. The formation of carbonized surface layers in the BC/PLA/AHP composites effectively improved the fire performance index (FPI) and reduced the fire growth index (FGI). Flame-retardant performance was significantly improved with limiting oxygen index (LOI) of BC/PLA/AHP composite increased to 31 vol%, providing a V-0 rating in UL-94 vertical flame test. Adding AHP promoted earlier initial thermal degradation of the surface of BC/PLA/AHP composites with a carbon residue rate up to 40.3%, providing a protective layer of char. Further raw material and char residue analysis are presented in Part II of this series.

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