AircraftFire Colloquium, 8th-10th July 2014, Brussels, Belgium

This colloquium brings together interested people from science (students and researchers from academia and research centres), from industry (engineers, aircraft designers, parts manufacturers,…) and professionals from or related to public services, who are working in the field of fire safety in aeronautics.

The Context:

For 20 years, the fire threat in aeronautics has been drastically reduced. But in new generation aircrafts the massive use of flammable composites, substituting metallic structural elements, changes the understanding of fire risk, and influences the fire safety approach for passenger and crew safety and survivability during fire incidents.
As recent contribution the FP7 project AircraftFire (AcF) is aimed at the characterisation of the flammability and burning properties of aeronautical composites for fuselage, wings, structures, fuel tanks, cabin materials and their influences on the mechanical behaviour and at the investigation of the effects on in-flight fire growth in the cabin and on passenger evacuation during post-crash fire.

The Objectives:

The first part of the meeting, on July 8th, will provide “Fundamentals and state of the art in fire safety in aeronautics”. Experts from the AircraftFire project will present the main physical phenomena involved in aeronautical fires as well as the experimental and numerical methodologies developed by AircraftFire.
The second part of the meeting, on July 9th and 10th, will be particularly focused on “New issues for fire safety in aeronautics”. Areas such as the fire retardants, the mechanical strength of burning composites and ignition by equipment devices are not in the focus of the AircraftFire project. External experts will share their experience to identify the remaining lack of knowledge and understanding in these domains. An open panel discussions will address topics of aeronautics fire safety related to batteries, seat foam, thermo-acoustic blankets, engine fires, avionics equipment, fuel tank inerting, oxygen threat (masks and fuel cell), firefighting. Presentations outlining the current regulations and the physical aspects of certification tests for the materials complete the holistic approach of this event. Read more: click here: programme and more détails…

3rd Conference on Fire in vehicles

The 3rd Conference on Fire in vehicles will be held in Berlin, Germany, 1-2 October, 2014.

More information: click here

HBCDD consortium submits REACH authorisation dossier to ECHA

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) raw material manufacturers, participating in the hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) authorisation consortium successfully submitted an application for authorisation to the European Chemicals Agency by the 21 February deadline. Project managed by ReachCentrum with the technical support of PFA Ltd and eftec, submission occurred to obtain an extension of the use of HBCDD as a flame retardant in EPS insulation in the EU.

The consortium aim is to obtain an authorisation for the continued safe use of HBCDD in EPS, until a valid alternative is commercially available in adequate quantities, together with the necessary technical and certification approvals. Members want to ensure that their customers and related end users have a continued steady supply for use of flame retarded EPS for building insulation material. The EPS raw material producers are committed to changing from HBCDD to an alternative as soon as possible, within legal deadlines and satisfying technical approvals.File:Hexabromocyclododecane.svg

Sufficient supply of building insulation materials is crucial for the European Union to achieve its goals of energy efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint by appropriate insulation of new buildings and by renovation of existing buildings. EPS has been used broadly for this application for decades and is present in the vast majority of Europe’s buildings. HBCDD is still the main, commercially available flame retardant for EPS. Flame retardant suppliers have started production of commercial quantities of alternative materials and the first applications in insulation products are being made available in the EU during 2014. Not all announced capacity for the HBCDD alternatives is currently on stream, however, meaning delays in the production development and technical approvals cannot be excluded. Members of the consortium are concerned that fully approved alternative flame retardants may not be available in sufficient commercial quantities before August 2015. Members are asking the EU for additional time to allow for a smooth market transition from HBCDD.

Background: HBCDD in buildings

One of the uses of HBCDD is as a flame retardant in EPS in buildings. HBCDD (CAS# 25637-99-4) is placed on Annex XIV of REACH, indicating that after the sunset date (21 August 2015, Official Journal of the European Union L49/52, dated 24.2.2011) the use of HBCDD in any application is prohibited unless the use in an application is granted. The application for authorisation of HBCDD in a specific use had to be submitted to ECHA at the latest by February 21, 2014.

Consortium members

The eight submitting members of the consortium, set up at the beginning of 2013, are: Ineos Styrenics, Monotez S.A., StyroChem Finland Oy, Sunpor Kunststoff GmbH Austria, Synbra Technology B.V., Synthos S.A, Unipol Holland B.V., Versalis S.p.A. These companies submitted jointly 13 applications for two uses.

Contact Francesca Furlan, ReachCentrum, at or on +32.2.6767425.

PolyOne Launches Moisture-Cured ECCOH™ XLS for Non-Halogen Wire & Cable Applications


PolyOne Corporation (NYSE: POL), a premier global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions, today announced the launch of ECCOH XLS low smoke and fume, non-halogen formulation for flame retardant wire and cable applications. This new moisture-cured solution from PolyOne helps manufacturers improve supply chain logistics to streamline manufacturing and optimize performance.

With the introduction of moisture-cured ECCOH XLS technology, wire and cable manufacturers can now choose the most cost-effective technology for specific production environments when selecting a low smoke and fume, non-halogen composition:

  • Dry silane
  • E-beam irradiation
  • Moisture cure

ECCOH XLS enables manufacturers to efficiently process a non-halogenated, flame-retardant material without capital investment in extra equipment or adding steps to complete crosslinking. The new offering was developed for applications including low-voltage power cables for building and construction use and specialty wire and cable for marine environments.

With superior shelf life, ECCOH XLS flame-retardant material for wire and cable jacketing (sheathing) and insulation avoids logistics concerns common with other crosslinking methods. The new material can be cured in a water bath as part of a processing line, or within ten days at ambient temperature regardless of humidity levels, and offers excellent processing and flame retardant performance. 

Source: PolyOne

An Alternatives Assessment for the Flame Retardant DecaBDE-FINAL REPORT/January 2014

Download pdf document here : Report

Report – Non-Halogenated Flame Retardants Market – Growth and Forecast to 2018

Reuters- 21.01.2014 :

The demand for non-halogenated flame retardants is expected to be majorly driven by growing environmental concerns regarding halogenated flame retardants. Non-halogenated flame retardants are environment friendly and certain non-halogenated flame retardants are as efficient as halogenated flame retardants.

This study covers the global non-halogenated flame retardant market for polymers. Flame retardants are used as additives in polymers to increase fire resistance in case of ignition or fire accidents. Owing to the high risk of fire accidents related with high usage of polymers in end-use industries such as construction, electrical and transportation, non-halogenated flame retardants are expected to have high demand in the near future. The market is segmented based on product types aluminum hydroxide (ATH), phosphorus based non-halogenated flame retardants and others (including nitrogen based flame retardants, magnesium hydroxide and others).

The report analyzes impacts of key market drivers and restraints on the global n market for the next five years. Increasing polymer usage in numerous industries is leading to high demand for flame retardant polymers, which is expected to drive the market for non-halogenated flame retardants. High loading levels and drawbacks in processability of non-halogenated flame retardants are expected to hinder the market growth in the coming years.

The market is also segmented in terms of end use industries and the study provides analysis and forecast of all key industries in the market. Construction, electrical, transportation, textile, furniture are major industries having applications of non-halogenated flame retardant polymers. In terms of application, the market is segmented into different polymers that are used in the end use industry. The report estimates and forecasts the global market of non-halogenated flame retardants for different polymers on the basis of volume (kilo tons) and revenue (USD million).

The study consists of value chain analysis for complete and better understanding of the market. The report also covers Porter’s five force model that analyzes market competition. The report provides analysis of the non-halogenated flame retardant market by various geographies – North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW).

Read more: click here

Layered Security: Carbon Nanotubes Promise Improved Flame-Resistant Coating

NIST Tech Beat:

Using an approach akin to assembling a club sandwich at the nanoscale, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers have succeeded in crafting a uniform, multi-walled carbon-nanotube-based coating that greatly reduces the flammability of foam commonly used in upholstered furniture and other soft furnishings.

The flammability of the nanotube-coated polyurethane foam was reduced 35 percent compared with untreated foam. As important, the coating prevented melting and pooling of the foam, which generates additional flames that are a major contributor to the spread of fires.

Nationwide, fires in which upholstered furniture is the first item ignited account for about 6,700 home fires annually and result in 480 civilian deaths, or almost 20 percent of home fire deaths between 2006 and 2010, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The innovative NIST technique squeezes nanotubes between two everyday polymers and stacks four of these trilayers on top of each other. The result is a plastic-like coating that is thinner than one-hundredth the diameter of human hair and has flame-inhibiting nanotubes distributed evenly throughout.

The brainchild of NIST materials scientists Yeon Seok Kim and Rick Davis, the fabrication method is described in the January 2014 issue of Thin Solid Films.*

Kim and Davis write that the technique can be used with a variety of types of nanoparticles to improve the quality of surface coatings for diverse applications.

The pair experimented with a variety of layer-by-layer coating methods before arriving at their triple-decker approach. All had failed to meet their three key objectives: entire coverage of the foam’s porous surface, uniform distribution of the nanotubes, and the practicality of the method. Inmost of these trials, the nanotubes—cylinders of carbon atoms resembling rolls of chicken wire—did not adhere strongly to the foam surface.

So, Kim and Davis opted to doctor the nanotubes themselves, borrowing a technique often used in cell culture to make DNA molecules stickier. The method attached nitrogen-containing molecules—called amine groups—to the nanotube exteriors.

This step proved critical: The doctored nanotubes were uniformly distributed and clung tenaciously to the polymer layers above and below. As a result, the coating fully exploits the nanotubes’ rapid heat-dissipating capability.

Gram for gram, the resulting coating confers much greater resistance to ignition and burning than achieved with the brominated flame retardants commonly used to treat soft furnishings today. As important, says Davis, a “protective char layer” forms when the nanotube-coated foam is exposed to extreme heat, creating a barrier that prevents the formation of melt pools.

“This kind of technology has the potential to reduce the fire threat associated with burning soft furniture in homes by about a third,” Davis says.

Y.S. Kim and R. Davis. Multi-walled carbon nanotube layer-by-layer coatings with a trilayer structure to reduce foam flammability. Thin Solid Films 550 (2014) 184-189.


New Report On Global Markets For Flame Retardant Chemicals

According to a new technical market research report, Flame Retardant Chemicals: Technologies and Global Markets from BCC Research (, global consumption for flame retardant chemicals reached 3.9 billion lbs in 2012 and is expected to grow to 4 billion lbs by 2013. BCC Research projects consumption to reach nearly 5.2 billion lbs by 2018, and register a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the total cost of fire in the U.S. is defined as a combination of the losses caused by fire and the money spent on fire prevention, efforts to prevent the worst losses by preventing them and the use of quick suppression when fires do occur. That cost reached about $363 billion by 2012 and is projected to be 2.5% to 3.0% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Government regulations require manufacturers to add flame retardant chemicals to a wide range of everyday products. Ironically, many of these chemicals, which are meant to save lives and protect property from damage caused by fires, have themselves been proven harmful to humans and the environment. New technology is being introduced into this market and, although these products cannot always replace the chemicals that have been deemed as toxic, they are expected to gain market share over the next five years.

The leaders in this less toxic chemicals approach for flame-retarding materials may be nanocomposites and more advanced synergistic formulations. BCC Research expects these new and innovative chemicals and synergistic combinations to have strong growth rates amongst other flame retardant chemicals. Many of these new chemicals or combinations have not yet found a single market but are being tried out in a spectrum of markets and circumstances.

Using an effective synergist chemical nanocomposite can often increase the effectiveness of certain flame retardants and reduce the input quantity of flame retardants materials. The markets for flame retardant chemicals are being driven by cost, performance, and the push towards more green and non-toxic products.

This report from BCC Research provides an overview of the worldwide market size, growth, and trends for this important and specialized industrial segment of chemicals. The report reviews global markets for specific flame retardant chemicals and forecasts trends and sales in these markets through 2018. The major applications and industries using these special flame-retarding products are also discussed in this report.


The report reviews the regulations driving this market and takes a look at the disasters that have occurred due to lack of flame retardant material usage. In addition, this comprehensive analysis provides estimates of market share by product application and chemical types, and includes regional consumption by chemical and by application. The report also provides information on industry structure and major companies in this market.

This report is intended for decision makers involved in the marketing, sales, and strategic planning for companies supplying flame retardants to customers or for those companies that are required by law to use flame retardants. This technical marketing report will also assist end users of flame retardants and flame-retarding products, and those needing further information about this industry.


FRX Polymers Opens First Full Scale Commercial Plant to Manufacture Halogen Free Flame Retardant Polymers

FRX Polymers®  announced the opening of its Antwerp manufacturing plant dedicated to the production of halogen free polyphosphonate flame retardant (FR) plastics. The first full scale commercial plant will focus on supplying Nofia® polyphosphonates – FRX Polymers’ line of homopolymer, copolymer, and oligomer FR materials.

Nofia inherently flame retardant plastics and additives address the end-users’ need for more environmentally friendly and less toxic flame retardants. Nofia can be used to enhance flame retardancy with little impact on the inherent characteristics of the targeted polymer or resin. In several engineering resin systems, Nofia retains transparency and enables processability. Nofia polyphosphonates increase the product developer’s toolbox by providing flame retardancy with other desirable characteristics due to its polymer form. For example, Nofia polyphosphonates have demonstrated use in flame retarding biorenewable polymers and recycled fibers and plastics providing a good balance of properties.

The new plant will address the growing demand for Nofia products from multiple markets including electronic devices, lighting and fixtures, fiber for commercial textiles, automotive, aerospace and building and construction… Read more: Click here

Formulation and fire behaviour of bio-based composites- Ph.D. Thesis Defence- 8 November 2013

Gaelle Dorez will defend her PhD thesis entitled: Formulation and fire behaviour of bio-based composites

Date: 8 November 2013

Location: Ecole des Mines d’Alès- France


The environmental awareness in the society is increasing and leads to a strong demand in material from renewable resources, such as biocomposites. The thermal sensitivity and the flammability restrict their use for certain applications such as building. The fire safety regulation is of prime importance and requires adapted solutions to be found to improve the fire behavior of these materials.

In this context, we have studied the thermal degradation and the fire behavior of natural fibers and particularly the effect of its components on the fire behavior. Then, we studied the reactivity of four moieties (amine, carboxylic acid, alkoxisilane and phosphonic acid) on the natural fibers. The grafting characterization was carried out with original techniques based on thermal degradation. Then, we are interested on the thermal degradation and the fire behaviour of biocomposites. We studied the fire behaviour of biocomposite based on PBS and natural fibers varying different parameters such as the amount of fibers, the type of natural fibers and the influence of phosphonated fire retardants. Two fireproofing strategies have been tested: the addition in polymer matrix and the grafting on natural fibers of fire retardant. To go further in the fireproofing strategy by fire retardant grafting, we have compared the influence of the grafting of phosphonated  molecule versus phosphonated macromolecules on the fire behaviour of flax and PBS/flax biocomposite.

Keywords: biocomposites; natural fibers; surface modification; phosphonated compound; fire behavior.

For more information, please contact:

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