Clariant says its halogen-free flame retardants can lock in fire protection for renewable polyurethane foams

Urethanes Technology International reported how Polyurethane foams with permanent flame retardants offer a novel way to pass the well-respected Cal 117 flammability standard earlier this year in a paper which discussed how manufacturers can use reactive halogen-free flame retardant Exolit OP 560. This is a reactive polyol with an hydroxyl value of around 450. The paper showed how this technology can be used  to develop low emission flexible foams that meet internationally accepted flammability standards such as Cal TB 117 (California Technical Bulletin 117, a flammability test for upholstered furniture using a small flame).

In the furniture and bedding industries, large quantities of non-reactive flame retardants are traditionally used to achieve flame resistance for flexible foams. These flame retardants, which are merely physically mixed into the foam, can migrate out of the foam matrix and are associated with adverse environmental and health consequences.

“Clariant’s Exolit OP 560 phosphonate liquid flame retardant addresses these concerns by eliminating unwanted emissions. The grade chemically reacts into the PU foam polymer and therefore does not migrate and remains fixed within a foam formulation, also resulting in reduced amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs),” said Adrian Beard, Clariant’s head of marketing for flame retardants.

According to the company, the phosphonate’s effectiveness and high polymer compatibility allows it to be used at low dosage in the foam matrix, which adds to its overall sustainability. By applying Green Urethanes’ unique processing characteristics, the amount of flame retardant required for flexible foam to pass the smolder and open flame tests in California TB 117 is reduced by 80%.

The company said the product can further benefit PU applications due to its ageing stability, low smoke density and smoke gas corrosivity as well as recyclability.



Emergence of Natural halloysite clays as FR system…

In recent years, there are more and more  studies on the emergence of halloysite as an element of RF system:

Thermal stability and flame retardant effects of halloysite nanotubes on poly(propylene)

The suitability of halloysite nanotubes as a fire retardant for nylon 6

Nanocomposites of polypropylene/polyamide 6 blends based on three different nanoclays: thermal stability and flame retardancy

and here the last tentative: download pdf format


A NEW BOOK: Update on Flame Retardant Textiles

This book describes the progress in flame retardancy of both natural and synthetic fibres/fabrics moving from the traditional approaches (back-coating techniques), current chemical solutions (P-, N-, S-, B- based flame retardants) to the novel up-to-date strategies (deposition and/or assembly of architectures, plasma treatments, sol-gel processes).

More specifically, the fundamental aspects, the chemistry of current flame retardant textile technologies including back-coating process and the obtained improvements are thoroughly reviewed, taking into account the detrimental environmental effects due to the use of halogen-based additives such as bromine derivatives.

Then, an overview of the chemical development of flame retardant strategies based on halogen-free compounds is summarized.

The third part of the book is devoted to a description of the up-to-date innovative solutions, based on nanotechnology. The surface deposition of coatings having a different chemical structure, is highlighted in detail.

To this aim, the effect of (nano)architectures derived from (nano)particle adsorption, plasma deposition/grafting, layer by layer assembly, sol-gel treatments on fibres/fabrics is thoroughly discussed.

Table of content:

1 Burning Hazards of Textiles and Terminology
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Hazards of Burning Textiles
1.3 Glossary of Terms
1.4 Hazard Assessment and Testing Methodologies for Flame Retardance References

2 Fundamental Aspects of Flame Retardancy
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Thermal Degradation of Polymers
2.3 Thermo-oxidative Degradation of Polymers
2.4 Degradation of Individual Fibre-forming Polymer Types
2.4.1 Natural Fibre-forming Polymers Cellulose Protein Fibre-forming Polymers
2.4.2 Thermoplastic Fibre-forming Polymers Polyolefins Aliphatic Polyamides (Nylons) Polyesters
2.4.3 High Temperature-resistant Fibre-forming Polymers
2.5 Polymer Combustion
2.6 Influence of Polymer Degradation on Subsequent Combustion
2.7 Mechanisms of Flame Retardancy
2.7.1 Chemical and Physical Mechanisms
2.7.2 Retardant Additive and Interactive Effects
2.7.3 Quantification of Synergism
2.7.4 Char Formation
2.7.5 Smoke, Fumes and Combustion Gases
2.8 Effect of Fabric and Yarn Structures References

… Read more: Source: Click here

Environment and Human Health, Inc.’s New Flame-Retardant Report –


Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI), an organization of physicians and public health professionals, is releasing its research report calling for state and federal governments to institute new policies to protect the public from flame-retardant exposures. Flame-retardants are now ubiquitous in our environment. They are found in almost all consumer products and pose health risks to fetuses, infants, children and the human population as a whole.

The report closely examines the health risks that flame-retardants pose to the general population and recommends sweeping policy changes to protect the public. The report examines the history of flame-retardants and demonstrates the enormous scope of the problem, noting that flame-retardants can now be found in the bodies of polar bears and whales, showing how far they have spread.

John Wargo, Ph.D., first author of the report and the Tweedy-Ordway Professor of Environmental Health and Political Science at Yale University, said, “Synthetic flame-retardants can now be found in the tissues of most people in the United States. Many flame-retardants are persistent and bioaccumulate in our bodies. Flame-retardants are not required to undergo health and environmental testing, and they are not required to be labeled on the products that contain them. Because exposures to flame-retardants carry health risks, they should only be used when the risk of fire outweighs the risk from flame-retardant exposures. When risk from fire is high, such as in airplanes, then the use of flame-retardants is warranted; when the risk from fire is low, flame-retardants should not be used.”

The history of flame-retardant use in the United States is a story of substituting one dangerous flame-retardant for another. The country lived through decades when asbestos was used as a fire-retardant. Then when asbestos was proven too dangerous to be used, the country moved over to PCBs, and five decades later, when PCBs were deemed too dangerous for use, the country moved on to chlorinated and brominated flame-retardants… Read more: source: click here

Testing smart plastics in real time

Nano additives can make plastics scratch and flame proof, or give them antibacterial properties. For this to work, the particle distribution within the plastic compound must be absolutely correct. A new device is now able to test the distribution in real time. onBOX uses a sensor system to test the composition of plastics enriched with nanoparticles. The unit is mounted directly onto the mixing plant, and is able to monitor particle distribution. © Fraunhofer ICT

onBOX uses a sensor system to test the composition of plastics enriched with nanoparticles. The unit is mounted directly onto the mixing plant, and is able to monitor particle distribution. © Fraunhofer ICT

On-the-spot analysis directly at source

onBOX is simply mounted to the exit nozzle of the conveyor, where its sensors analyze and characterize the polymer compound while it is still in the mixing plant. The sensors use a combination of technologies including spectroscopy, ultrasound and microwaves to test the composition of the polymer-nanoparticle compound. They measure its viscosity, pressure and particle distribution, including any possible fluctuations in concentration, while simultaneously measuring the compound’s temperature and its thermal and electrical conductivity. A computer then compares this data to the system’s command variables and processes it inside an artificial neural network.

The computer determines the precise mixing ratios needed to achieve the intended effect as well as the manufacturing process this requires, and feeds this information directly to the machine’s control system. “The result is that the network of nanoparticles develops just as we want it to,” says Mikonsaari, “with optimal distribution of the individual particles.” She adds: “We are able to characterize the state of the polymer melt as it is being discharged through the nozzle.”

Mikonsaari will be presenting onBOX on November 19, 2013 at the NanoOnSpect workshop being held at the ICT in Pfinztal, where it will be attached to a pilot plant able to process 30 kilograms of polymer compound. ICT researchers will also be reporting on the current status of the EU-funded NanoOnSpect project. Those invited to attend include raw material suppliers, plastics manufacturers and companies that process and reuse smart plastics.

NanoOnSpect was launched in 2011 and will run for a total of four years. The consortium draws on the scientific community, associations and industrial partners and was set up with the aim of optimizing manufacturing processes for smart plastics that feature nanoparticle additives.

Project partners are seeking to achieve this in two ways: on the one hand, they are developing technologies that help to improve characterization of the size, structure and distribution of the nanoparticle additives as well as the properties of the polymer compounds. On the other, they are designing a new mixing procedure that combines the advantages of existing processes. “onBOX is a very tangible product of our research from which industry stands to benefit immediately,” says Mikonsaari, pointing out the relevance of the new tool and its scope for practical application. Source: click here

Flame Retardant Chemicals Market (Aluminum Trihydrate, Antimony Oxides, Brominated, Chlorinated) Worth $7,131.9 Million by 2017

The report Flame Retardant Chemicals Market by Type, Application & Geography – Market Estimates up to 2017, defines and segments the global flame retardant chemicals market with analysis and forecasting of the global volumes and revenues for flame retardant chemicals. It also identifies driving and restraining factors for the global flame retardant chemicals market with analysis of trends, opportunities, winning imperatives, and challenges. The market is segmented and revenues are forecasted on the basis of major geographies such as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World (ROW). The key countries are covered and forecasted for each geography. Further, market is segmented and revenues are forecasted on the basis of applications and product types.

The global market for flame retardant chemicals in terms of revenues was estimated to be worth $ 4,792.5 million in 2011 and is expected to reach $ 7,131.9 million in 2017, growing at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2012 to 2017. Asia-Pacific dominates the global flame retardant chemicals market, accounting for 47.7% of the overall market in 2011. The growth in the Asia-Pacific market is expected to be fuelled by countries like China and India… Source:

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