London Tower Fire – Plastic Polyethylene Burn Test

European Coatings Fire Forum 2017

European Coatings Fire Forum, 17-18 October 2017

Conference Programme


Competitiveness and synergy between three flame retardants

Competitiveness and synergy between three flame retardants in poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate)


This work seeks to address the effect of simultaneous use of three flame retardants, having three different modes of action, (magnesium hydroxide, expanded and expandable graphite) on the thermal degradation and flame retardancy of poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate). Thermal conductivity of samples was measured in order to investigate the effect of the use of expanded and expandable graphite on the time-to-ignition and the peak of heat release rate in cone calorimeter test. Thermal shielding performances of chars were studied as well. It was found that there is an optimum ratio between expanded and expandable graphite in order to control thermal conductivity and therefore fire properties. Some correlations were also found between the char thickness and the first peak of heat release rate. Read more: click here



Fire Resistance in Plastics 2017

Fire Resistance in Plastics 2017 programme is now available!

Click here: Fire_Resistance_in_Plastics_2017


A plant-based reactive ammonium phytate for use as a flame-retardant for cotton fabric

New research paper in Carbohydrate Polymers


A plant-based non-formaldehyde flame retardant containing high phosphorus ammonium phytate (APA) was synthesized for cotton fabric. The char length of treated cotton sample decreased to 31 mm from the original 300 mm. The LOI value of finished cotton fabric was as high as 43.2%, and after 30 laundering cycles, it still remained 30.5%, suggesting that APA could be used as an effective semi-durable flame retardant. The TG analysis in air demonstrated that the thermal oxidation stability of treated fabric was significantly improved. Cone calorimetry results showed that the peak heat release rate and total heat release of treated sample reduced obviously comparing with that of control sample. The SEM morphologies suggested that the APA molecule penetrated into the inner space of cotton fibers. FTIR spectra implied the APA molecule grafted onto cotton fibers. Then, the effective flame retardant APA has significant potential in practical application.



London Grenfell Tower fire

Source: Pinfa newsletter N°81:

pinfa member companies and cefic share the grief of all those impacted by the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, 14th June 2017. As we write, at least 79 people are known to have been killed and 127 families have lost their homes.

It is too early, and it is not our role, to say what caused this fire and why it spread so rapidly with so much smoke, and with such terrible results. Media reports have however suggested that the fire started with an electrical fault in a fridge-freezer. Reports also suggest a role in the fire development of non flame retardant polymer foam thermal insulation external cladding panels, reported to be 4-6 mm non flame retardant polyethylene in aluminium sandwich and polyisocyanurate (PIR) boards used in a recent refurbishment. Media suggest that the use of non-FR panels led to a cost saving of UK£ 5 000 in the nearly 9 million £ refurbishment. The burning of these panels is visible in photos and videos. UK Government representatives 18 June 2017 and other reports indicate that these panels were not conform to applicable regulations. Panels on other UK tower buildings are now being tested, and reports indicate that all 60 buildings checked to date have failed, with over 500 yet to be verified. The fire risks of non FR or inappropriately used polymer foam cladding panels have already been highlighted by a number of recent major fire incidents (see e.g. pinfa Newsletter n°75).


However, it is not known today to what extent the burning of these panels contributed to the development from the fire source to catastrophe. The official enquiry should clarify whether fire safety regulations were adequate for this type of building and renovation, and whether existing fire safety regulations were respected, both as regards the cladding materials used and as regards other questions such as sprinklers, gas supply, fire stops, emergency exits. Every effort should be made to understand why this fire developed so fast and caused so many deaths, in order to do everything possible to prevent such horrific fires occurring in the future, in the UK or elsewhere.

Media sources: 
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