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Developments in flame retardant compounds for nylon, polyester, XPS, EPS foam insulation

Zoom  Zoom Issue Date:2011-10-21   Source:plastemart.com   Browse:1222

Flame retardants help prevent fire or its propogation by interrupting or hindering the combustion process. The flame retardant business has emerged as a result of requirements that manufacturers of plastics, textiles and other materials meet various safety standards and government regulations by improving the flame retardant characteristics of their products. As per SRI Consulting, because most flame retardants contribute no other useful properties to a product (and often compromise other performance characteristics), their use is almost entirely driven by legislation and industry standards. Indeed, growth (or decline) in this business can often be impacted far more dramatically by new regulations than by growth in the end-use markets. Because many flame retardants (e.g., chlorinated hydrocarbons, brominated compounds) are subject to scrutiny either for their own toxicity or for that of their combustion products, current or potential health and environmental regulations are also important determinants of the specific types of flame retardant used. An understanding of current regulations and an awareness of potential new ones is an important requirement for success as a participant. New developments in this field include:

 

Global custom engineered thermoplastic compounder RTP Company has expanded its broad line of halogen-free flame retardant (FR) compounds to include nylon and polyester grades. These new compounds provide plastics processors and OEMs with more options to meet popular green-initiative requirements driving today's material selection processes. Halogen-free FR products, which are fully compliant with RoHS Directive regulations, are for the first time available in nearly all resin systems, providing a viable alternative to using traditional halogenated FR additives for applications in electrical & electronics, building and transportation markets. Development of halogen-free FR materials by RTP has been driven by the global push for manufacturers to eliminate halogens from their products. The halogen-free FR compounds provide the same physical property and UL94 V-0 FR performance as conventional halogenated grades. Recent additions to this halogen-free product line include nylons (PA 6/6, PA 6, HTN, & PPA) and polyesters (PBT, PET, & PTT) in addition to six previous resin systems. Increased availability of halogen-free FR plastics is a big benefit to engineers who now have a choice that doesn't require them to compromise mechanical or FR performance when selecting a plastic material. These halogen-free FR compounds have UL94 V-0 flammability ratings of either 1/32 or 1/16" (0.8 or 1.5 mm). Other advantages of using halogen-free FR additives include lower smoke generation, making them ideal for enclosed space applications. They also have a significantly lower specific gravity - up to 20% less than halogenated FR grades - reducing the quantity of material used and thereby end part cost. The halogen-free FR properties can be combined with other compounding technologies such as structural reinforcement or conductivity - to solve multiple problems with a single solution. Development of these next generation halogen-free FR systems is a significant step forward in FR additive technology and in meeting manufacturers' environmental-awareness goals.

 

Dow has developed "next generation industry standard" flame retardant for polystyrene foam building insulation products. Dow Global Technologies has developed a new, high molecular weight, brominated Polymeric Flame Retardant (Polymeric FR). It is expected to be the “next generation industry standard” flame retardant for use in both extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation applications globally. The development of Dow’s Polymeric FR technology comes against the backdrop of an ongoing search for more sustainable products and pending regulatory restrictions on HBCD initiated by the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical (REACH) substances program and several other national regulations. The new Polymeric FR delivers a more sustainable profile than HBCD, as demonstrated by:

 

• Stability

• High molecular weight

• Non-PBT (Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic)

• Extensive and robust Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) testing regimen and evaluation

Furthermore, it provides a fire safety solution for EPS and XPS foams to enable these thermal insulation materials to continue to meet the increasing demands of global energy efficiency regulations. 
 
 
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