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Flame retardants | additives feature


Importantly, the grades deliver a UL90 V-0 fire rating in thin-wall parts. Since it is based on phosphorous, the material generates low smoke. It is transparent, and has no toxic by-products, Baumann adds. Nyco, a producer of wollastonite mineral reinforce- ments, is offering the material as a way of extending properties of FRs. “I’m not sure if it would reduce the need for a flame retardant, but could be feasible as a partial substitute,” says Gary Phillips, vice president of marketing and application development. One reason is that wollastonite fibres have a high melting point of 1,540°C. Phillips says that when the fibres are silanated for resin compatibility, “a tight fibre/ resin matrix” develops, which extends FR properties and increases structural strength. The company’s Nyglos wollastonite fibres are acid scavengers that slow polymer degradation in a fire. They can help achieve UL94 V-0 ratings in some applications, he adds, and meet UL94 V-1, 2 or 3 in others. The fibres replace milled glass and 10-15% of chopped glass in reinforced PA. When replacing milled glass, they reportedly improve surface appearance in parts. Three grades are available: Nyglos 12 is 195 microns long and 15 microns in diameter; Nyglos 8 is 156 microns long and 12 microns in diameter; and Nyglos 4W is 63 microns long and 7 microns in diameter. Targets include under-the-hood electrical connec-


tors. A high-temperature additive applied to the fibres enhances thermal stability for such applications and resists scorching during compounding. Nyco says that the fibres recrystallize rapidly with chopped glass, which improves cycle times. One benefit apart from their properties is price – the


When micro circuit breakers are moulded in light colours it restricts the use of FR additives to colour-compat- ible chemistries


fibres are about one-third less expensive than most conventional flame retardants, Phillips says. A well-established technology for coupling agents


could be an option for increasing loadings of FR additives without affecting processing. Kenrich Petrochemicals offers the titanates and zirconates it supplies as coupling agents for use with conventional FRs, to increase their loading and performance. According to Kenrich president Salvatore Monte, the


company’s Ken-React organometallic coupling agents “proton coordinate to form 1.5-nanometer atomic monolayers on the flame retardant/filler particulate/fibre surface, as well as catalytically react with the polymer to change morphology and flow.” As a result, the monolay- ers “electrochemically deagglomerate the flame


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