Particular coating compositions based on incompatible polymer blends can produce coatings having complex layered structures after film formation. The most traditional approaches to their structural modification are the introduction of additives (extenders, inorganic pigments, surface active agents, etc.). As minor additives, some are capable of substantially accelerating the phase separation process with a moderate or negligible influence on the composition equilibrium of solutions. In contrast, in order to be effective, some have to be introduced in significant amounts, thereby substantially changing the resulting distribution of components through the film. Up to now, most of the liquid additives that have been tested destabilized the solutions while impacting the layering process. In this work, two phosphorus based liquid fillers have been introduced (at 2.5 and 5 wt.%) in a partially incompatible polymer blend based on a silicone resin and a curable epoxy resin to fire retard a polycarbonate matrix. Self-stratification was evidenced by microscopic and chemical analyses, flammability by Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI) and UL-94 tests, fire performances by Mass Loss Calorimetry and thermal stability by using a tubular furnace and ThermoGravimetric Analysis. The ternary compositions including 5 wt.% of additives exhibit the best stratification and excellent adhesion onto polycarbonate. Improvements of the fire resistant properties were observed (+7% for the LOI compared to the virgin matrix) when a 200 µm wet thick coating was applied, due to reduced flame propagation and dripping.
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