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FLAME RETARDANTS | ADDITIVES Automotive and construction


drive developments in FRs Tougher building fire regulations and the rapid development of EVs calls for more effective and more environmentally-acceptable flame retardant systems, writes Peter Mapleston


Tougher building regulations and automotive electrification are two among many factors driving demands for improved flame retardance in plastics. And as has been the case for several years now, it is producers of halogen-free flame retardant (HFFR) systems who are making the most noise about their developments – even if more established halogen- ated systems still account for a significant share of the overall market. PINFA (the Phosphorus, Inorganic and Nitrogen


Flame Retardants Association) says the develop- ment of electro-mobility is one of many industry innovations behind a wider growth in demand for PIN (Phosphorus, Inorganic and Nitrogen ) flame retardants. This growth is being driven especially by the construction, electrical and electronics and transport sectors, and by regulatory and industry pressure to move away from halogenated flame retardants.


“Electric vehicles pose increased fire safety challenges because of high currents and energy storage,” PINFA says. Voltages in some electric vehicle systems already exceed 400V, with some car makers looking to move to 800V. “Pressure is also building to tighten the outdated and inad- equate FMVSS 302 fire safety standard for automo- biles, and manufacturers are taking the initiative by requiring fire safe materials.” The ongoing move to replace metal with plastics


in the automotive sector, for reasons of both cost and weight, also plays a part. “New materials for vehicles need to offer low weight as well as mechanical performance and temperature and chemical resistance. Automobile manufacturers are looking for environmentally preferable flame- retardant solutions which must respect IMDS [the International Material Data System] and GADS [Global Automotive Declarable Substance list]. New PIN flame retardant solutions enable to combine this with fire performance and low smoke,” according to the association. At AMI’s Fire Resistance in Plastics 2018 confer- ence (AMI is the publisher of Compounding World), which will take place this month in Cologne in Germany, new PINFA President and Head of Mar- keting and Advocacy for Clariant’s Flame Retard- ants Business Line Adrian Beard is due to say the shift to electric drives in cars will provide new challenges for plastics: fuel and oil resistance of plastics is less important, whereas high voltages and currents mean a higher risk of fire due to electrical failures. Beard says Clariant’s Exolit flame retardants for engineering plastics “bring a sustainable and valuable contribution to safety.” Exolit OP flame retardants based on phosphinates and synergists are effective in all polyamide chemistries. While the pure phosphinate Exolit OP 1230 can be used in all


Main image: Resistance to fire is a top concern for many plastics users and specifiers. FR systems


developers are working on more effective solutions that meet the needs of current and emerging applications, such as EVs


www.compoundingworld.com


December 2018 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 41


PHOTO: EVONIK


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