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Natural Polymers for Fire Safety

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Macromolecular Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 November 2023) | Viewed by 1286

Special Issue Editor

School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Interests: fire safety engineering; composite and hybrid materials; functional materials; polymers and plastics; nanofabrication; growth and self assembly; inorganic materials (incl. nanomaterials)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The issue of fire safety is currently attracting extensive attention, especially on the fields of building materials, decoration materials, portable electronics, and electric vehicles. To meet the developing requirement of the market, green, nontoxic, and low-cost flame retardants is widely welcomed and is being investigated on an ongoing basis.

Natural polymers, such as cellulose, chitosan, alginate, etc., are widely concerned and employed to be used as flame retardants, nanofillers, coatings, etc., to address the fire safety issues. To date, natural polymers, especially marine-based and plants-based natural polymers, are becoming a hot point that could be used to boost the development of fire resistance technology. Like the risk of Australia bushfire, the resolution of bushfire risk maybe comes from the bush itself. Moreover, natural polymers are replacing oil-based ones, especially in the field of decoration and building materials, and materials applied in portable electronics and electric vehicles; therefore, how to resolve the fire safety issue is a meaningful as well as an urgent subject.

This Special Issue aims to provide a high quality platform to display high quality papers on natural polymer materials, anticipating that could inspire readers with innovative thinking and thus promote the development of fire safety science. Research on bio-based materials, including the extraction, synthesis, and modification as well as the evaluation of fire safety and environment impact, are all considered. Works on other novel fire safety technologies are also welcomed.

Dr. Wei Wang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Natural polymers
  • Fire safety
  • Flame retardancy
  • Bio-based fire retardants
  • Marine-based polymers Polymer composites
  • Flame retardant coatings
  • Foams
  • Fabrics
  • Battery materials

Published Papers (1 paper)

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15 pages, 4529 KiB  
Optimisation of Additives to Maximise Performance of Expandable Graphite-Based Intumescent-Flame-Retardant Polyurethane Composites
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5100; - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 703
The effect of varying the weight percentage composition (wt.%) of low-cost expandable graphite (EG), ammonium polyphosphate (APP), fibreglass (FG), and vermiculite (VMT) in polyurethane (PU) polymer was studied using a traditional intumescent flame retardant (IFR) system. The synergistic effect between EG, APP, FG, [...] Read more.
The effect of varying the weight percentage composition (wt.%) of low-cost expandable graphite (EG), ammonium polyphosphate (APP), fibreglass (FG), and vermiculite (VMT) in polyurethane (PU) polymer was studied using a traditional intumescent flame retardant (IFR) system. The synergistic effect between EG, APP, FG, and VMT on the flame retardant properties of the PU composites was investigated using SEM, TGA, tensile strength tests, and cone calorimetry. The IFR that contained PU composites with 40 wt.% EG displayed superior flame retardant performance compared with the composites containing only 20 w.t.% or 10 w.t.% EG. The peak heat release rate, total smoke release, and carbon dioxide production from the 40 wt.% EG sample along with APP, FG, and VMT in the PU composite were 88%, 93%, and 92% less than the PU control sample, respectively. As a result, the synergistic effect was greatly influenced by the compactness of the united protective layer. The PU composite suppressed smoke emission and inhibited air penetrating the composite, thus reducing reactions with the gas volatiles of the material. SEM images and TGA results provided positive evidence for the combustion tests. Further, the mechanical properties of PU composites were also investigated. As expected, compared with control PU, the addition of flame-retardant additives decreased the tensile strength, but this was ameliorated with the addition of FG. These new PU composite materials provide a promising strategy for producing polymer composites with flame retardation and smoke suppression for construction materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers for Fire Safety)
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