Three different boron containing materials, zinc borate (ZnB), borophosphate (BPO(4)), and boron and silicon containing oligomer (BSi), were used to improve the flame retardancy of melamine cyanurate (MC) in a polyamide-6 (PA-6) matrix. The combustion and thermal degradation characteristics were investigated using limiting oxygen index (LOI), UL-94 standard, thermogravimetric analysis-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (TGA-FTIR), differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). All the three boron compounds showed no synergistic effect with MC, and only BPO(4) at high loadings showed comparable LOI values by increasing the dripping rate. For ZnB and BSi glassy film and char formation decreases the dripping rate and sublimation of melamine and give rise to low LOI. According to TGA-FTIR results, addition of boron compounds does not alter the gaseous product distribution of both MC and PA-6. The addition of boron compounds affects flame retardancy through physical means. It was noted from the TGA data that boron compounds reduced the decomposition temperature of both MC and PA-6, also affecting the flame retardancy negatively by premature degradation of MC at low temperatures. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.