Investigation of correlations between the oxygen index of polymers and their intrinsic characteristics
Orndoff, Evelyne Sylvie
Master of Science
Correlations between the Oxygen Index (OI) and intrinsic polymer characteristics are researched. The goal is to establish a property matrix to aid design and evaluation of new polymers flammability and fire retardancy. Many researchers have independently correlated heat of combustion, char formation, halogen substitution, and polymer end groups to the OI. Other possible correlations are explored: oxidation potential defined for polymer repeat units gives inconclusive results. Electronegativity and bond strength approaches are also inconclusive. Obvious effects of hydrogen to carbon ratio, molecular mass or polymer density are verified but not easily modeled. The effects of polymer group contributions as well as products of incomplete combustion influence the OI but available data allows no valid correlation. This attempt to find a correlation has not yielded rewards. Further attempts should be undertaken in view of these results.