Structure-Property Studies on a New Family of Halogen Free Flame Retardants Based on Sulfenamide and Related Structures

Teija Tirri, Melanie Aubert, Weronika Pawelec, Anton Holappa, Carl-Eric Wilen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A wide variety of molecules containing S-N or S-N-S cores were synthesized, and their flame retardant properties in polypropylene (PP), low density polyethylene (LDPE) and polystyrene (PS) were investigated. In addition, polymers or oligomers bearing the sulfenamide functionality (SN) were also synthesized. It was shown that this radical generator family based on sulfenamides is very versatile in terms of structural modifications, and the thermal decomposition range can be easily adjusted by changing the R groups attached to the core. The thermal stabilities of the different sulfenamides were examined by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Radicals generated by the homolytic cleavage of the S-N or S-N-S bonds at an elevated temperature can effectively interact with the intermediate products of polymer thermolysis and provide excellent flame retardant properties. The choice of most suitable SN-structure varies depending on the polymer type. For polypropylene DIN 4102-1 B2 and UL94 VTM-2 classifications were achieved with only 0.5 to 1 wt % of sulfenamide, and, in some cases, no flaming dripping was observed. Also for LDPE thin films, sulfenamides offered the DIN 4102-1 B2 rating at low dosage. In the case of polystyrene, the very stringent UL94 V-0 classification was even achieved at a loading of 5 wt % of sulfenamide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • sulfenamide
  • radical generator
  • halogen free
  • flame retardant
  • polypropylene
  • polystyrene


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