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Open AccessArticle

An Alginate Hybrid Sponge with High Thermal Stability: Its Flame Retardant Properties and Mechanism

1
College of Life Sciences, Institute of Advanced Cross-Field Science, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China
2
College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China
3
Shandong Collaborative Innovation Center of Marine Biobased Fibers and Ecological Textiles, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 1973; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11121973
Received: 17 October 2019 / Revised: 19 November 2019 / Accepted: 25 November 2019 / Published: 30 November 2019
The worldwide applications of polyurethane (PU) and polystyrene (PS) sponge materials have been causing massive non-renewable resource consumption and huge loss of property and life due to its high flammability. Finding a biodegradable and regenerative sponge material with desirable thermal and flame retardant properties remains challenging to date. In this study, bio-based, renewable calcium alginate hybrid sponge materials (CAS) with high thermal stability and flame retardancy were fabricated through a simple, eco-friendly, in situ, chemical-foaming process at room temperature, followed by a facile and economical post-cross-linking method to obtain the organic-inorganic (CaCO3) hybrid materials. The microstructure of CAS showed desirable porous networks with a porosity rate of 70.3%, indicating that a great amount of raw materials can be saved to achieve remarkable cost control. The sponge materials reached a limiting oxygen index (LOI) of 39, which was greatly improved compared with common sponge. Moreover, with only 5% calcium carbonate content, the initial thermal degradation temperature of CAS was increased by 70 °C (from 150 to 220 °C), compared to that of calcium alginate, which met the requirements of high-temperature resistant and nonflammable materials. The thermal degradation mechanism of CAS was supposed based on the experimental data. The combined results suggest promising prospects for the application of CAS in a range of fields and the sponge materials provide an alternative for the commonly used PU and PS sponge materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: sponge; alginate; organic-inorganic hybrid materials; flame retardancy; thermal properties; mechanism sponge; alginate; organic-inorganic hybrid materials; flame retardancy; thermal properties; mechanism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiang, Y.; Pang, X.; Deng, Y.; Sun, X.; Zhao, X.; Xu, P.; Shao, P.; Zhang, L.; Li, Q.; Li, Z. An Alginate Hybrid Sponge with High Thermal Stability: Its Flame Retardant Properties and Mechanism. Polymers 2019, 11, 1973.

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