Special Issue “Innovative Flame Retardants”

A special issue of Molecules:  Click here

Dear Colleagues,

Research has increasingly focused on the development of biobased materials to attain the requirements of sustainability. Developing biosourced materials in the future includes polymers as well as additives. Among these additives, flame retardants are the most important market. Bioresources are numerous and provide many opportunities to develop innovative flame retardants. Solutions based on carbohydrates, polyphenols, lipids, or proteins are currently being investigated.


To be commercially successful, biobased flame retardants must obviously be as efficient as oil-based ones. However, cost may also be a major drawback. Indeed, the development of biobased flame retardants often needs various extraction, purification, and functionalization steps. A solution to be competitive may be to provide multifunctionalities. For instance, combining flame retardancy with anti-aging, plasticizing, crosslinking, conductive properties, and so on would be highly desirable.

This Special Issue aims to gather high-quality papers about the extraction, synthesis, and functionalization of biobased flame retardants, as well as the assessment of their fire proofing properties. Investigations can consider, fully or partially, biobased flame retardants. Multifunctional biobased additives combining several properties (including flame retardancy) will be privileged. Papers on the life-cycle analysis (LCA) of such additives are welcomed.

Dr. Rodolphe Sonnier
Dr. Laurent Ferry
Dr. Henri Vahabi
Guest Editors



New Insights into the Investigation of Smoke Production Using a Cone Calorimeter

Published paper in Fire Technology , 01.01.2019


Smoke release data from the cone calorimeter are often underused. They may provide additional information to better understand the fire reaction of polymers and the efficiency of flame retardants. A new method is proposed to investigate the smoke release in cone calorimeter tests and to correlate it to heat release, based on studies with pure and flame retarded polymers. Smoke release rate is plotted versus heat release rate and new parameters are pointed out. In particular, parameter A represents the smoke release per unit energy (in Joules) released. Its value increases when the carbon fraction and the aromaticity of a polymer increase. It can reach around 0.05 m2/kJ for epoxy resins but is null for well-known smoke-free polyoxymethylene (POM). HRR threshold (HRRth) represents the critical heat release rate above which smoke release is measured. Its value is close to 100 kW/m2 for polyolefins but decreases drastically for aromatic polymers. The approach developed in this study is potentially useful for assessing the smoke release of different materials for a heat release rate scenario chosen arbitrarily. The influence of two specific smoke suppressants and of two specific flame retardants on smoke release is also discussed and the proposed method allows for a better understanding of their role in smoke release.


Call for evidence- UK fire safety regulatory guidance

On 18 December the British Government published a call for evidence as the first stage of a review of its fire safety regulatory guidance. Nothing is excluded. The current scope of the regulations only concerns life safety but the review invites thoughts on whether this should be extended to include property protection for certain buildings. The deadline for responses is 1 March 2019 (Source: European Fire Sprinkler Network). For more information: click here


Fire safe 2019!

“Flame retardancy of polymers” wishes you a fire safe 2019!



European Meeting on Fire Retardant Polymeric Materials (FRPM19)

The biannual European Meeting on Fire Retardant Polymeric Materials (FRPM19) will be held from 26th to 28th June 2019, with a conference reception taking place on Tuesday, 25 th June, in Turku, Finland. The conference venue is the newly renovated Turku City Theatre, situated in the beautiful city center, alongside the Aura River.


Extended deadline for abstract submission: 8 February 2019

For more information: click here


Workshop to define a Fire Safety Mission for Europe- 3rd December 2018

Although great strides have been made in reducing the negative impacts of fire over the past few decades, the global impact of fire remains staggering. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates global burn deaths to 180,000 annually, the vast majority of these in low and middle-income countries. Within Europe, more than 3,500 people are killed annually. In most developed countries the cost of fire damage is estimated to be at least 1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Something must be done to facilitate substantial reduction in these losses and significantly increase societal health, safety, and welfare. To better characterize the problems and develop solutions, fire safety science and engineering research needs to be integrated into societally-transformative risk mitigation and resiliency initiatives. An holistic, society-focused Fire Safety Mission is needed.


In June of this year, the European Commission published the outline for “Horizon Europe”, the research & innovation programme which will follow Horizon 2020, with a proposed budget of around 100 billion € for 2021-2028. The published text makes no mention of fire safety. The proposed structure will build on Thematic “pillars” and horizontal “missions”. The definition of a “Fire Safety Mission” is particularly suitable for the inclusion of fire safety in Horizon Europe, as fire safety is truly horizontal in nature, cutting across a broad variety of potential themes.

The International Association of Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) recently launched a position paper calling for action concerning fire research and engineering needs for the future, The IAFSS Agenda 2030 for a Fire Safe World. Using the IAFSS Agenda 2030 as a starting point for dialogue, the IAFSS and ISO TC92 would like to invite all fire safety stakeholders to a workshop to define a Fire Safety Mission for Europe.

The meeting will be hosted in the CEN/CENELEC buildings in central Brussels so space is limited. This event is for registered participants only. Registration is free, but the organizers reserve the right to charge a no-show fee for registration without participation. The tentative workshop agenda is below.

Workshop Agenda, 10:00-16:00, Monday, 3rd December 2018

09.00 – 10.00 Registration

10.00-10.10 Welcome and Introductions (Margaret McNamee, LTH)
10.10-10.20 Why fire safety is important in tomorrow’s world (Patrick van Hees, LTH, Chair IAFSS and ISO TC92)
10.20-10.40 Lessons Learned from Fire Research in H2020, the example of wildfire research (DG RTD, Nicolas Faivre)

10.40-11.00 Fire Information Exchange Platform (DG GROW, Georgios Katsarakis)
11.00-11.20 What do we mean by Missions in Horizon Europe? (DG RTD, Neville Reeve)

11.20-11.40 Coffee

Funding Agency: “Brandforsk – fostering safety through dedicated research funding”, Björn Sundström, Chairman of the Board, Brandforsk
Fire Fighter: Pieter Maes, Brussels Fire Department
Fire Engineer: Brian Meacham, President-Elect, Society of Fire Protection Engineers, SFPE
Academia: “Fire Science: funding of research for citizen safety”, Guillermo Rein, Imperial College
Industry: Jonathan Crozier, pinfa and Quentin de Hults, Modern Building Alliance (MBA)

12.30-13.00 Questions and Panel Discussion

13.00-13.45 Light Lunch

13.45-14.00 Introduction to Afternoon Breakout Sessions
14.00-15.00 Roundtable workshop to define possible Fire Safety Mission for Horizon Europe

FINAL PLENARY SESSION (Moderator: Kristin Sukalac, Prospero)
15.00-15.50 Summary report key points from breakout table discussions
15.50-16.00 CONCLUSIONS and WHAT’S NEXT? (Patrick van Hees, LTH)

As we get closer to the date of the Workshop, additional information may be posted, and registrants may receive additional information by email. Thank you for your interest in this important initiative, and we look forward to seeing you in Brussels in December!

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at margaret.mcnamee@brand.lth.se



The IAFSS would like to thank the following sponsors for making this meeting possible:

Brandforsk, Kingspan, The Modern Building Alliance, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), pinfa, Rockwool and The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE).

Workshop: Towards flame retardant biopolymers and biocomposites

C2MA (Centre des Matériaux des Mines d’Alès) part of IMT (Institut Mines-Télécom), Alès and EPNOE (European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence) are organizing a workshop entitled “Towards flame retardant biopolymers and biocomposites: current research strategies, scientific barriers and perspective applications”.


This workshop is a unique opportunity to gather experts in flame retardant technology and specialists in polymers and composites based on bioresources. These two communities will be brought together to enable them to work more closely. The replacement of oil-based materials by bio-based ones is one of the main trends driving the development of innovative functional materials. This leads to new challenges which need to be overcome: Which bioresources and building blocks are available to develop flame retardants from bio-based materials? Which synthesis and functionalization strategies are required? How to improve the flame retardancy of biobased materials such as, for example, natural fibres which are already used as reinforcements in composite materials?

This meeting aims to review the existing knowledge, share ideas and envisage new strategies enabling the improvement of the thermal and fire retardant behavior of biobased materials and/or to develop biobased flame retardant additives through biomimetic approaches. It is expected that the workshop will foster collaborative projects between academics and industry.


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