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Processing and Upscaling of Fire-Resistant Nano-Filled Thermosetting Polyester Resin (POLYFIRE)
Start date: Sep 1, 2009, End date: Aug 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Polyfire will develop and upscale techniques for processing halogen-free, fire-retardant nanocomposites and coatings based on unsaturated polyester resins and nanoclays. These materials will improve public safety and environmental impact by eliminating halogenated fire-retardants, which produce toxic combustion products. The ability of well-dispersed nanoparticles to enhance the fire-retardancy of thermoplastic polymers is well-established, but thermoset polyester has received relatively little attention. In a recent collaborative project, the fire-retardancy of polyester resin was dramatically improved on a lab scale by adding small amounts of organomodified nanoclay, along with significantly reduced amounts of other, non-halogen fire-retardant additives. However, significant further work is required to scale-up production and to assess the health and environmental impacts. This project will develop and upscale the nanoclay modification and will use novel mixing techniques to enable industrial-scale production of the nano-filled polyester. The project will generate turn-key solutions for easy integration into industrial SMEs. Nanocomposites and coatings will be produced and subjected to stringent tests. The technology will be demonstrated by producing 3 large-scale case study parts from construction, rail and marine sectors. Comprehensive health and environmental impact assessments will be conducted.
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