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FLAME RETARDANTS | ADDITIVES


Growing FR market trends


to sustainable solutions Demand for fire retardants continues to grow, driven in large part by the increasing use of automotive electronics, but formulators are seeking sustainable solutions, writes Peter Mapleston


The global market for flame retardants – FRs – in plastics continues to grow, despite some headline- grabbing resistance (in November, for example, San Francisco became the first city in the US to restrict the use of flame retardants in upholstered and reupholstered furniture and juvenile products). FR market participants put overall growth at around 3-5% a year, with above average gains in automo- tive due largely to the rising penetration of elec- tronics and electric drive systems. “Transport in general has always been an


important market for flame retardants, but automo- tive lagged behind trains, planes and boats,” says one player. “That’s now changing.” And, as the


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market grows, so does the choice of flame retard- ants on offer, with a strong trend towards sustain- ability. Polymeric and high molecular weight FRs are increasingly replacing smaller molecule types that have a greater tendency to migrate out of products. There is also an underlying trend in some markets towards halogen free (HFFR) products. PINFA, the Phosphorous, Inorganic and Nitrogen


Flame Retardants Association, says market studies continue to predict global growth of the phospho- rous, inorganic and nitrogen (PIN) FR market ahead of that for flame retardants in general. One major PIN FR producer, Clariant, cites increasing demand for products offering higher


Main image: The increasing penetration of electronics is a key driver for new flame retardant technologies that combine sustainability, performance and easy processing


December 2017 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 31


PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK


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