DETERMINATION OF THE SUITABILITY OF OIL PALM FIBRE COMPOSITE FOR BUILDING APPLICATIONS BY CONE CALORIMETER AND THERMAL ANALYSIS
Keywords:ammonium polyphosphate, flammability properties, flame retardants, gum arabic, oil palm, fibre, thermal stability
The high yielding of oil pam fibre reinforced composite (OPFC) to fire has necessitated research to improve and develop fire retardants (FR) to mitigate the spread of fire. Researchers relied on Flame Retardants (FR) classified as either halogenated or non-halogenated based FR to improve the performance of composites with emphasis on flammability properties (FP). The main object of this paper is to evaluate the effect of six non-halogenated FR species in OPFC to meet required fire safety standards for building purposes. The six FR species comprising aluminum tri-hydroxide (ATH), ammonium polyphosphate (APP), Gum Arabic powder (GAP) and carbon black (CB) were processed with OPFC at 0, 15 and 18% loading ratio using hand lay-up compression moulding technique. Specimens cut from the OPFC panels were tested for flammability and thermal properties using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA/DSC Metlar Toledo) and cone calorimeter apparatus respectively. The result obtained for thermal analysis shows that the panel was thermally stable at 391.6OC before degradation began compared to those without FR while peak flammability properties obtained for heat released rates, mass loss rates and smoke production rates showed the OPFC panels rapid fire response were significantly reduced respectively by 67.4%, 50.9% and 37.5% compared to those without FR. It can be concluded that the hybrid FR comprising APP-GAP showed a stable char structure during fire and thus prevented the escape of combustible volatiles which reduced the peak FP values of the OPFC panels. These flammability properties could be said to meet required fire safety standards for building applications.
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