Date of Award

Spring 4-19-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Ram K. Gupta

Second Advisor

Dr. Khamis Siam

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Neef

Fourth Advisor

Dr. John Franklin



Rigid foams, which are mainly used in construction, refrigerators, automotive industries are one of the important types of polyurethanes with great potential in insulation and energy efficiency. Unfortunately, rigid polyurethane foams are highly flammable and catch fire in a short amount of time as well as spread the flame quickly. Hence, rigid foams are considered hazardous materials due to life-threatening situations and environmental issues.

To counter that, nitrogen-based compounds as non-halogenated flame retardants are an effective, low-cost, and eco-friendly option. It has been shown that melamine derivates as nitrogen-based flame retardants are the proper choice to be incorporated with rigid polyurethane foams. Melamine and its derivates improve the thermal stability of the rigid foam, as well as providing effective performance in avoiding fire propagation.

The objective of this thesis is to implement greener materials into the synthesis of bio-polyol used for the preparation of rigid polyurethane foams. Myrcene is a natural alkene found in bay leaves and hops, that is functionalized with hydroxyl groups through thiol-ene reaction to obtain a bio-polyol. The physicomechanical and thermal properties of bio-based rigid polyurethane foam containing different amounts of melamine (ME), melamine cyanurate (MC), and melamine phosphate (MP) were studied. In the burning test, the neat foam was burnt for 75 seconds with 40% weight loss. In comparison to neat foam, time of self-extinguishment and weight loss decreased by increasing flame retardants. Also, MC and MP-based foams showed better thermal stability than ME-based foams. The addition of MC and MP showed burning times decreased to 21 and 11 seconds, respectively, while the values of weight loss also reduced to 4% and 3%, respectively. The presence of melamine-based flame retardants showed a short burning time as well as a low amount of smoke. This research indicates that a bio-based polyurethane foam could be synthesized successfully with satisfactory melamine-based flame retardant properties. As a result, using eco-friendly materials such as myrcene and nitrogen-based flame retardants offered an effective option to enhance the physicomechanical and thermal stability of rigid polyurethane foams.



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