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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 925060, 6 pages
Research Article

Synthesis and Characterization of Zinc Borate Nanowhiskers and Their Inflaming Retarding Effect in Polystyrene

College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Yulin University, No. 4 Chong Wen Road, Yulin, Shaanxi 719000, China

Received 4 February 2015; Revised 17 March 2015; Accepted 19 March 2015

Academic Editor: Weidong Song

Copyright © 2015 Pingqiang Gao and Yan Zhang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Zinc borate nanowhiskers 4ZnO·B2O3·H2O were in situ successfully synthesized via one-step precipitation reaction. A set of experiments was performed to evaluate the influence of reaction temperature. Increasing the temperature up to 70°C led to the high purity of zinc borate nanowhiskers with a monoclinic crystal structure measuring 50 nm to 100 nm in diameter and approximately 1 µm in length. However, higher temperature decreases the crystallization due to the emergence of other styles of zinc borate. Flame-resistant nanocomposites of polystyrene and zinc borate nanowhiskers were also successfully synthesized. The samples were investigated by XRD, FESEM, FTIR, and TG. The mechanical properties of the composites were also tested. The incorporation of zinc borate nanowhiskers improved the thermal and mechanical properties for polystyrene. FESEM images show that zinc borate nanowhiskers increased the smoothness of composites. The composites presented good responsive behavior in relation to LOI (limiting oxygen index) allowing them to be suitable for green flame retardants.