New development in fire retardants

Jun 19, 2013 | Cables and Accessories

Fireproof, an ITRI Innovation service, has recently carried out research into applications in halogen-free electronics, cables and fire protective coatings.

Fireproof has developed novel tin additives, based on proprietary nano-particulate and coating technologies. Recently, there have been growing concerns about the inherent toxicity of certain halogenated flame retardants and their long term effects on the environment.

Consequently, there has been an increasing demand for low smoke zero halogen (LSOH) flame retardant formulations for use in transportation, construction and, in particular, the electronics industry. Inorganic tin additives have been shown to exhibit synergism with fillers and partial replacement of the primary filler can often allow significant reductions to be made in the overall flame retardant loading. In order to maximise synergistic interactions, novel tin-based additives, including coated fillers and tin-modified nanoclays have been developed at Fireproof.

“Although, originally these tin compounds were originally developed as synergists for halogen containing polymers, their use in halogen-free formulations is now growing steadily,” commented Dr Paul Cusack, fire & polymers manager at Fireproof. “The use of tin additives as components of cost effective, zero halogen, low smoke flame retardant systems, is expected to experience significant growth in the future.”

Dr Paul Cusack was recently invited to present a paper on this new research at the 24th Annual Conference on Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Polymeric Materials in Stamford, CT, USA. He will also be presenting in July at the 14th European Meeting on Fire Retardant Polymers in Lille, France. Cusack has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and has authored and presented over 100 technical papers in the field.

Fireproof can carry out a comprehensive range of small scale fire tests in its laboratories based at the offices of ITRI, in St Albans, Hertfordshire. This fire testing laboratory can offer fire retardant product formulation and reformulation, polymer processing and small scale materials testing.