Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Charles Neef

Second Advisor

Dr. Petar Dvornic

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeanne Norton

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Tim Dawsey


There is a growing need for non-halogenated flame retardants due to the toxicity and environmental impacts that are exhibited by current ones. The polyurethane industry is one that has expressed a need for flame retardants in many of its industrial and commercial applications. For these reasons, two different decaborate compounds, tetramethyl and tetrabutyl ammonium decahydrodecaborate, were synthesized and incorporated into polyurethane films for testing. The compounds were characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, Proton-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy, Carbon-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (13C-NMR) spectroscopy, and Boron-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (11B-NMR) spectroscopy. The compounds were incorporated into a polyol mixture at various weight percentages, mixed with methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), and cast as either thin films on glass plates or in a fixture for cone calorimetry samples. Thermal stability and flammability of the films were tested using a standard burn chamber and via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) in nitrogen. To investigate potential synergistic effects, the decaborate compounds were incorporated with triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO) and tested. These combinations were tested using the standard burn test chamber, thermal stability in nitrogen, and cone calorimetry. The cone test provided heat release rates and smoke release rates. Per the results of these tests, the combination of the new decaborate, and triphenylphosphine oxide showed potential for flame retardancy at minimal amounts of flame retardant.



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