A new strategy for the preparation of an integrated three-source intumescent flame retardant (IFR) has been developed to improve the flame-retardant and smoke suppression performance of epoxy resin (EP) with a synergistic flame retardant effect. Herein, the synthesis of a macromolecular spirocyclic phosphorus/nitrogen-containing IFR poly sulfonamide spirocyclic pentaerythritol bisphosphonate (SAPC) is reported via a two-step method that uses pentaerythritol, phosphorus oxychloride and sulfonamide (SAA) as raw materials. Subsequently, the SAPC was incorporated into EP to prepare the composite to investigate its thermal stability, flame retardancy, and smoke suppression performance. Herein, a differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis showed that the addition of SAPC increased the glass transition temperature (Tg
) of the composite. Cone test results indicated that the incorporation of 8 wt % SAPC significantly improved the flame-retardant performance for the composite, with a 43.45% decrease in peak of heat release rate, a 28.55% reduction in total heat release, and a 30.04% decrease in total smoke release. Additionally, the composite received the V-0 rating in a UL-94 vertical burning test, accompanied by the “blowout” phenomenon. After the addition of SAPC, the amount of flammable gas products from the EP composite decomposition was obviously suppressed, and the amount of non-flammable as was increased. All of this suggests a good dilution role of SAPC. There are enough reasons to believe that the enhanced flame-retardant and toxicity suppression performance for the EP composite can be attributed to the good coordination of carbonization agent, acid source, and blowing agent in the SAPC structure.
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