Enhancing Fire Retardance of Styrenic Polymers Through a Ter-Polymerization Route

Svetlana Tretsiakova-McNally, Aloshy Baby, Paul Joseph, Doris Pospiech, Eileen Schierz, Albena Lederer, Malavika Arun

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


Polystyrene was chemically modified with selected organic phosphonates and N-containing unsaturated compounds (Figure 1) via ter-polymerization. The successful incorporation of P and N monomeric units was confirmed by 1H and 31P NMR spectroscopy. Thermal decomposition and combustion of the prepared ter-polymers were studied using Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), Pyrolysis Combustion Flow Calorimetry (PCFC) and Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). The thermal stability and combustion characteristics of the modified styrenic polymers were significantly altered when nominal amounts of P- and N- containing groups were integrated into the polymeric chains. In certain cases, synergism of these groups was evident. For instance, as revealed by TGA, an extent of char formation, particularly under the oxidative atmosphere, was enhanced by more than 40% as compared to the unmodified polystyrene. For some ter-polymers, heat release rates and heat release capacities of the ter-polymers, measured through PCFC, were almost halved compared to similar parameters of the unmodified counterpart.

Figure 1. Chemical structures of P- and N-containing monomers used for ter-polymerization.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished online - 11 May 2024
EventFire and Polymers - Embassy Suites New Orleans, New Orleans, United States
Duration: 12 May 202415 May 2024


ConferenceFire and Polymers
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Internet address


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