Nanomaterials are proving to be pivotal to the evolution of controllable, cost-effective and environmentally safe technologies. An important concern is the impact of low-dimensional compositional materials and their ability to significantly reduce the hazardous nature of flame retardants that are reputably harmful through unchecked inhalation. While eco-friendly and recyclable alternatives are necessary requirements to function as replacements for the ‘Next Generation’ of flame retardants, the underlying ‘Chemistry’ at the nanoscale is unfolding unlocking vital clues enabling the development of more effective retardants. In this direction, the dimensional order of particles in naturally occurring nanoclay materials and their associated properties as composites are gaining increasing attention as important constituents of flame retardants. In this review, we examine closer the compositional importance of intercalated/exfoliated nanoclay networks essential to retardant functionality exploring the chemical significance and discussing underlying mechanisms where possible.
Part of the book: Flame Retardant and Thermally Insulating Polymers