Towards Selection Charts for Epoxy Resin, Unsaturated Polyester Resin and Their Fibre-Fabric Composites with Flame Retardants
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Epoxy and unsaturated polyester resins are the most used thermosetting polymers. They are commonly used in electronics, construction, marine, automotive and aircraft industries. Moreover, reinforcing both epoxy and unsaturated polyester resins with carbon or glass fibre in a fabric form has enabled them to be used in high-performance applications. However, their organic nature as any other polymeric materials made them highly flammable materials. Enhancing the flame retardancy performance of thermosetting polymers and their composites can be improved by the addition of flame-retardant materials, but this comes at the expense of their mechanical properties. In this regard, a comprehensive review on the recent research articles that studied the flame retardancy of epoxy resin, unsaturated polyester resin and their composites were covered. Flame retardancy performance of different flame retardant/polymer systems was evaluated in terms of Flame Retardancy index (FRI) that was calculated based on the data extracted from the cone calorimeter test. Furthermore, flame retardant selection charts that relate between the flame retardancy level with mechanical properties in the aspects of tensile and flexural strength were presented. This review paper is also dedicated to providing the reader with a brief overview on the combustion mechanism of polymeric materials, their flammability behaviour and the commonly used flammability testing techniques and the mechanism of action of flame retardants.