Flame retarded poly(lactic acid): A review

W. S. Chow, E. L. Teoh, J. Karger-Kocsis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

35 Citations (Scopus)


Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) synthesized from renewable resources has drawn a great deal of interest in packaging, electronics and automotive applications. However, poor flame retardancy of PLA, especially its ease of ignitability and heavily flaming drips, represents a major obstacle for its potential application. The article outlines the recent advances in the field of flame-retarded PLA. Current development trends based on the direct incorporation of flame retardant additives, chemical modification, hybridization and synthesis of flame retardants were reported. Results obtained from UL 94 vertical burning, limiting oxygen index (LOI) and cone calorimetry (CCM) tests for each type of flame retardants were discussed and analyzed. Test results summarized in a UL 94-LOI matrix found to be a useful tool to determine the effectiveness of flame retardants in PLA. The UL 94-LOI comparison matrix and CCM test results revealed that the combined use of flame retardants (containing intumescent formulation) is one of the promising strategies to reach the flame retardancy of PLA needed by practical applications. This review ends with a brief summary of and outlook on future developments of flameretarded PLA systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-417
Number of pages22
JournalExpress Polymer Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Biopolymers
  • Flame retardancy
  • Poly(lactic acid)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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