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Functionalization of MXene Nanosheets for Polystyrene towards High Thermal Stability and Flame Retardant Properties

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Hefei University, 99 Jinxiu Avenue, Hefei, Anhui 230601, China
Institute of Textiles & Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to these work.
Polymers 2019, 11(6), 976;
Received: 9 May 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
PDF [5886 KB, uploaded 3 June 2019]


Fabricating high-performance MXene-based polymer nanocomposites is a huge challenge because of the poor dispersion and interfacial interaction of MXene nanosheets in the polymer matrix. To address the issue, MXene nanosheets were successfully exfoliated and subsequently modified by long-chain cationic agents with different chain lengths, i.e., decyltrimethylammonium bromide (DTAB), octadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (OTAB), and dihexadecyldimethylammonium bromide (DDAB). With the long-chain groups on their surface, modified Ti3C2 (MXene) nanosheets were well dispersed in N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), resulting in the formation of uniform dispersion and strong interfacial adhesion within a polystyrene (PS) matrix. The thermal stability properties of cationic modified Ti3C2/PS nanocomposites were improved considerably with the temperatures at 5% weight loss increasing by 20 °C for DTAB-Ti3C2/PS, 25 °C for OTAB-Ti3C2/PS and 23 °C for DDAB-Ti3C2/PS, respectively. The modified MXene nanosheets also enhanced the flame-retardant properties of PS. Compared to neat PS, the peak heat release rate (PHRR) was reduced by approximately 26.4%, 21.5% and 20.8% for PS/OTAB-Ti3C2, PS/DDAB-Ti3C2 and PS/DTAB-Ti3C2, respectively. Significant reductions in CO and CO2 productions were also obtained in the cone calorimeter test and generally lower pyrolysis volatile products were recorded by PS/OTAB-Ti3C2 compared to pristine PS. These property enhancements of PS nanocomposites are attributed to the superior dispersion, catalytic and barrier effects of Ti3C2 nanosheets. View Full-Text
Keywords: MXene; functionalization; polystyrene; thermal stability; flame retardant MXene; functionalization; polystyrene; thermal stability; flame retardant

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Si, J.-Y.; Tawiah, B.; Sun, W.-L.; Lin, B.; Wang, C.; Yuen, A.C.Y.; Yu, B.; Li, A.; Yang, W.; Lu, H.-D.; Chan, Q.N.; Yeoh, G.H. Functionalization of MXene Nanosheets for Polystyrene towards High Thermal Stability and Flame Retardant Properties. Polymers 2019, 11, 976.

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