Peter Kumpf emphasised the role of the distributor in advising customers, including both users of polymers and related products as well as formulators, supporting definition of requirements and material selection, providing expertise on applications and ensuring supply. In applications where halogenated flame retardants are under pressure Biesterfeld is offering halogen free alternatives. Challenges include fire performance, material performance and increasingly concerns about smoke density and smoke toxicity. There is no single solution for low smoke, with specifications depending on the testing method. Customer pressure is moving towards substitution of antimony trioxide, with concerns about developing regulatory constraints. Also, a trend towards reactive and polymeric flame retardants is expected, to minimise migration and exposure risks. The polymer and application specificity of these substances will reinforce the need for distributor support and expertise to customers.
Biesterfeld Spezialchemie, part of the Biesterfeld group, distributes chemical specialities in Europe, with divisions covering life sciences, health care, nutrition, performance products, CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) and polymer additives. The latter distributes flame retardants for all thermoplastics as well as polyurethanes, coatings, adhesives, textiles and other applications. www.biesterfeld-spezialchemie.com