This chapter deals with the properties and applications of clay mineral water dispersions and clay minerals as flame retardant additives for polymers. Clay minerals, such as kaolinites, micas, and smectites, are the basic constituents of clay raw materials, which are classically employed in the ceramic industry to produce porcelain, fine ceramics, coarse ceramics, cements, electro-ceramics, tiles and refractories. These products are mainly used in sectors of economic importance, such as agriculture, civil engineering, and environment. A direct method to prepare clay mineral polymer composites is through dispersion in water. Water dispersions of clay exhibit some interesting flow phenomena such as yield stress; i.e., the material behaves as a solid until a critical force applied on the material forces it to flow. Water dispersions of clay have also been reported to be used to prepare materials with enhanced flame-retardant properties such as leather. On the other hand, direct melt compounding of clay mineral with different polymers as the composite matrix (HIPS, PP, and HDPE) to prepare a number of polymer composites with flame-retardant properties has also been reported.
Part of the book: Clays, Clay Minerals and Ceramic Materials Based on Clay Minerals