Recent Changes in Fire Safety Standards for Buildings, Automotive and Electronic Sector Demand Innovative and Customized Flame Retardants
Leading manufacturers of phosphorus chemicals are constantly expanding their extensive portfolio with the development of innovative flame retardants. The focus is on halogen-free products based on phosphorus, particularly on low-emission flame retardant for flexible PU foams and biopolymers. The demand for halogen-free flame retardants is driven in particular by fire safety standards for buildings and the automotive and electronic sector.
The innovative flame retardants are characterized by low emissions (fogging) and low scorch. It is highly suitable among other things for use in polyether and polyester based flexible polyurethane (PU) foams. PU foams containing these new flame retardants can meet the strict VDA 278 standard for the characterization of non-metallic materials in vehicles with respect to volatile (VOC) and condensable (FOG) emissions. At the same time, the new type of product can be used in the automotive industry as it does not contain any raw materials or impurities listed in the GADSL list (Global Automotive Declarable Substance List, Version 1.1, March 14, 2016). Thus, these low-emission additives make a key contribution to achieving high standards in automotive interiors, for example.
Manufacturers are addressing not only the trend toward halogen-free low-emission products but also the move towards the use of biopolymers in highly technical applications such as components and housings for the electronic industry. These have to be supplemented with corresponding additives. These new products can be used as a flame-retardant plasticizer in cellulose derivatives, particularly cellulose triacetate (CTA). Here, the innovative additive is used, for example, in the manufacture of notebook displays, LCD screens and electronic housings in which a fire classification of UL 94 V.0 needs to be achieved.
Among other products that manufacturers are pushing halogen-free phosphate esters that provide a cost-effective low-odor solution for a wide variety of applications have gained demand. The product that combines plasticizing and flame retardant properties has a low odor and can be used in many plastics (plasticized PVC, flexible PU foams, TPU, PC-ABS and NBR-PVC blends). Applications range from coated textile fibers, tarpaulins, cables, E&E housings, furniture and automotive interiors to thermos insulated hoses. In ester-based thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) applications such as cables, these new flame retardant additives
can also be combined with powerful hydrolysis stabilizers. The service life of material can significantly be extended by adding a stabilizer to the polymer.
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