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    The fammability of synthetic thermoplastic polymers has been recognized as an increasingly important safety problem. The goal of this study was to evaluate a green and safe fre-retardant system comprising of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO). CNCs coated with nano ZnO were incorporated in the high-density polyethylene polymer (HDPE) matrix at different concentrations. Fire testing results of different formulations of HDPE containing 0.4 to 1.0% zinc oxide coated CNC exhibited a substantial decrease in the average mass loss, peak heat release rate and total smoke release. The time to ignition exhibited a positive correlation with CNC-ZnO concentration. Modest improvement in the fexural strength and moduli of composites was noticed validating no adverse effects of CNC-ZnO complex. The transmission electron microscopy further confrmed dispersion of nanoparticles as well as the presence of some nanoparticle aggregates in the matrix. The uniform dispersion of CNC-ZnO complex is expected to further improve fre and mechanical properties of polymer.

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    Bajwa, Dilpreet S; Rehovsky, Chad; Shojaeiarani, Jamileh; Stark, Nicole; Bajwa, Sreekala; Dietenberger, Mark A. 2019. Functionalized cellulose nanocrystals: a potential fire retardant for polymer composites. Polymers. 11(8). 7 p.


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    Fire retardant, high-density polyethylene, nano zinc oxide, cellulose nanocrystals, thermal Stability

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