Flame Retardants for Plastics

Flame Retardants for Plastics

Author: Dr. P.W. Dufton
ISBN 978-1-85957-385-3 

pages 148
Plastics materials are used in large volumes in major applications such as buildings, vehicles and electronic appliances. In each of these areas, fire safety is critical. Hence flame retardants have been developed to improve the properties of plastics under the different conditions of processing and use. Flame retardants can act in a variety of ways: by raising the ignition temperature, reducing the rate of burning, reducing flame spread and reducing smoke generation. There are various test methods in use to quantify the effectiveness of different flame retardants and these are described here.

This report examines the new developments from a range of flame retardant producers, both in products and product ranges. Besides brominated materials, mineral fillers such as alumina trihydrate hold a large market share, alongside phosphorus compounds, antimony trioxide, borates and intumescent materials. The latter function by forming an insulating char on the surface of the material. Nanocomposites are being tested as flame retardant materials - these and other new types of additive are described

Environmental legislation has affected this sector of the additive industry, particularly in the field of halogenated flame retardants. Brominated flame retardants are widely used, effective materials in many resin formulations. Many pressure groups would like to see compounds containing halogens banned. There are concerns about the potential for release and bioaccumulation of toxic combustion products. However, the evidence shows that where the use of these materials has been reduced, for example in television sets in Europe, the number of fires and consequently deaths has increased. The issues are discussed in this report.

At the same time, fire safety requirements for materials have increased. The uncertainty of the situation has lead to major suppliers of flame retardants branching out to secure their position in the market place. Thus larger companies have been purchasing suppliers of alternative types of retardants so that if legislation reduces their share of one sector of the market, they can reap the benefits from their alternative products.

Market data on flame retardants is limited, but the available figures from different sources are summarised here. For example, the market size for flame retardants in the USA is currently around half a million tones per year. There is extensive discussion of specific applications, i.e., automotive, building and construction, and electrical and electronic.

This technical market report highlights the current work on flame retardants by different companies and for different resins; it describes the situation of flux in the marketplace with the new changes to legislation and gives data on the market size and possible future changes.

1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 The Report
1.3 Methodology

2. Summary and Conclusions
2.1 Materials
2.2 End User Sectors
2.2.1 Automotive
2.2.2 Electrical Appliances
2.2.3 Business Machines and Consumer Electronics
2.2.4 Building and Construction
2.2.5 Furniture
2.2.6 Trends
2.3 General
2.3.1 Testing and Environmental Factors
2.3.2 Overview

3. Flame Retardants
3.1 General
3.2 Organic Halogen Compounds
3.3 Phosphorus Compounds
3.4 Antimony Trioxide
3.5 Alumina Trihydrate
3.6 Magnesium Hydroxide
3.7 Zinc Borate
3.8 Intumescent Materials

4 Products and their Markets
4.1 Organic Halogen Containing Materials
4.1.1 Bromine Compounds Dead Sea Bromine Group Great Lakes Albermarle Ferro Corporation Unitex Chemical Corporation
4.1.2 Chlorine Compounds
4.2 Phosphorus Containing Compounds
4.2.1 Introduction
4.2.2 Polymer Modification
4.2.3 Red Phosphorus
4.2.4 Ammonium Polyphosphate
4.2.5 Phosphorus Oxynitride
4.2.6 Albright & Wilson
4.2.7 Albermarle Corporation
4.2.8 Polymer Tailoring
4.2.9 Akzo Nobel Chemicals
4.2.10 Great Lakes Chemical Corporation
4.2.11 Clariant
4.2.12 Other New Developments
4.3 Inorganic Minerals and Compounds
4.3.1 Antimony Trioxide
4.3.2 Alumina Trihydrate (ATH)
4.3.3 Boron Compounds
4.3.4 Magnesium Hydroxide Technology Commercial Products
4.3.5 Other Inorganic Compounds Iron Compounds Molybdenum Compounds Tin Compounds Talc
4.4 Other Materials
4.4.1 Coatings
4.4.2 Char Forming Polymers
4.4.3 Potassium Compounds
4.4.4 Melamine Compounds Melamine Polyphosphate Melamine Cyanurate (MC)
4.4.5 Silicon Compounds
4.4.6 Graphite
4.4.7 Glass Flake
4.4.8 Low Melting Glasses
4.4.9 Polymer Blends
4.4.10 PTFE
4.4.11 Aluminium Flake
4.4.12 Hindered Amine Light Stabilisers
4.4.13 Nanocomposites
4.4.14 TSWB
4.4.15 Noflan

5 Polymer Families and Their Flame Retardancy
5.1 Polyolefins
5.1.1 Polyethylene
5.1.2 EVA
5.1.3 Polypropylene
5.2 PVC
5.3 Styrenics
5.4 Polyamides
5.5 Modified PPO (m-PPO)
5.6 Polyurethanes
5.7 Thermosets
5.7.1 Unsaturated Polyesters
5.7.2 Epoxy Resins
5.7.3 Phenolics
5.7.4 PU Casting Systems
5.7.5 Acrylic Resins
5.7.6 Dicyclopentadiene
5.8 Thermoplastic Polyesters
5.9 Polycarbonates
5.10 Other Thermoplastics

6 Suppliers and the Consumption of FR Additives and Compounds
6.1 General Comments
6.2 Suppliers
6.2.1 Brominated Flame Retardants
6.2.2 Melamine
6.2.3 Phosphorus Flame Retardants
6.2.4 Mineral Filler Flame Retardants
6.2.5 Borate Flame Retardants
6.3 Consumption and Market Data
6.4 Compounding for Flame Retardancy

7 End-User Market Sectors
7.1 Automotive
7.2 Other Transport
7.3 Electrical Components
7.4 Electronics Products
7.4.1 Telecommunications
7.4.2 Consumer, Brown Goods
7.5 Electrical Cables
7.6 Building and Construction
7.7 Upholstered Furniture and Textiles

8 Fire Testing
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Specific Tests
8.3 Comparing Test Results
8.4 Tests for Building Materials
8.5 Cable Testing
8.6 Mattress Tests
8.7 Clothing Tests

9 Environmental and Regulatory Matters
9.1 Fire Safety
9.1.1 European Standards for Television Sets
9.1.2 Brominated Flame Retardants
9.2 Brominated Flame Retardants
9.3 EU Directives
9.4 Recycling Matters
9.5 Postscript
Abbreviations and Acronyms

Dr. Peter Dufton has extensive experience in writing market reports, having worked with the Rapra Industry Analysis unit for many years.