Magnesium hydroxide is a commonly used flame retardant that works through a combination of physical and chemical mechanisms. When exposed to high heat, magnesium hydroxide decomposes to release water vapor and magnesium oxide. The water vapor cools the surrounding area, while the magnesium oxide forms a protective layer over the surface, reducing the availability of fuel to the fire.
In addition to these physical mechanisms, magnesium hydroxide also has a chemical action that contributes to its effectiveness as a flame retardant. Specifically, it reacts with the free radicals and other reactive species generated by the fire, preventing them from further reacting with other fuel sources and slowing down the combustion process.
Overall, the combination of physical and chemical mechanisms allows magnesium hydroxide to effectively prevent or slow down the spread of fires in a variety of materials and applications.
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