Posted on 13/01/2023 in Electric & Electronic Building & Construction Transport Furniture & Textiles Fire Safety Recycling 2023
Compounding to material requirements

Giulia Spezzati, Avient

Avient is responding to customers’ wishes to move 100% halogen-free and is developing new PIN FR solutions to combine this with performance. Sustainability is a key objective, essential to customers’ futures, and non-halogenated fire safety must be combined with performance and price competitiveness. Avient has developed a new nitrogen-based PIN FR solution for the building industry, which offers performance at a competitive price, complying with sector regulations. PIN flame retardants must be compatible with recycling, and Avient sees strong development in resins based on post-consumer recyclates, requiring a rethink of additives and formulation to achieve performance and quality.

Avient Corporation (Pinfa member) was formed in 2020 when PolyOne acquired Clariant Masterbatch, combining decades of materials leadership. Avient recently acquired Dyneema from DSM, mobilizing 8 400 people worldwide for innovation in specialized and sustainable materials solutions. Avient’s products can offer different functionalities, including colour and flame retardancy, for all industry sectors, including polyolefins, styrenics, and engineered polymers.

Doron Sorek, Kafrit

Developments of new products and research are today centred on non-halogenated FR solutions, e.g. for construction, transport, textiles. Kafrit provides highly tailor-made compounds and masterbatches for customers’ different applications and performance requirements, including Kafrit in-house additive molecules. Regulation is a challenge to innovation and registration costs are an obstacle to new raw materials, and customers demand full legislation documentation. Customers today want compatibility with recycling, in particular internal recycling of production off-products, and this requires specific expertise for phosphorus and nitrogen FRs because of challenges with dosing, ventilation and reprocessing conditions. Cooperation with PIN flame retardant providers can ensure optimal formulation of PIN FR compounds and expert support onsite for customers to achieve quality and homogenous processing. Masterbatches can also provide compact, low water solutions for easier handling and processing.

Kafrit is a masterbatcher and compounder, established in 1973, with seven production plants across the world, total capacity of 130 000 t/y, and 550 staff. The company develops and supplies compounds of different polymers, including polyolefins, styrenics, polyurethanes, polyamides, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene, polycarbonate for sectors including e.g. packaging agriculture, construction, electronics, transport, textiles.

Pascal Wolfer, Lapp Engineering AG

We focus on halogen-free and low-halogen because PIN FRs can achieve fire safety and performance specifications more sustainably. Customised masterbatches enable customers to adapt formulations precisely to specific needs, case by case. Flame retardant levels can be adjusted to achieve fire performance specifications according to different component wall thickness, so optimising both other properties and cost. Lapp Engineering AG sees increasing need for PIN flame retardant solutions for electronics and electrical equipment, with new technology developments. Another developing need is for PIN FR materials for installations for logistics sites (building materials, cables, conduits, installations and equipment …) for which insurers are increasingly requiring fire safety. Another challenge is to find PIN FR solutions for polypropylene copolymer foils for greenhouses, where heat and various electrical installations make fire safety important, compatible with reliable processing of very thin films in large sheets.

Lapp Engineering AG, Switzerland, develops tailor-made polymer masterbatches and compounds since 2004, from compound design, testing and prototyping, through to material supply for production. The company provides masterbatches and compounds for a range of polymers including polyolefins, TPUs, PC-ABS. Lapp Engineering AG products are exclusively available through the distribution partner XINOMER AG

 Boaz Turner, Tosaf

Tosaf focuses mainly on gas phase FR solutions which minimally deteriorate polymer performance because of low required loadings. Further development goals are to increase the thermal stability of such flame retardants and adjust the product to the working temperatures range of the manufacturing process, while at the same time optimising cost efficiency. Tosaf sees rapid growth in the FR industry, because fire regulations are becoming stricter, are being extended globally and applied in a wide range of sectors. Green demands and environmental regulations are driving a trend towards halogen-free and antimony-free flame-retardant solutions. Another trend is the growth of the electric vehicles industry, switching more and more parts into plastic and challenging mechanical properties. The rising demand for flame retardants has led Tosaf to establish a new FR factory, with a state-of-the-art lab, to develop the entire range of solutions from transparent films to foams and injected / extruded parts for construction and the white goods sectors.

For over three decades, Tosaf has been developing and manufacturing high-quality additives, compounds, and color masterbatches for the plastics industry. Tosaf services customers in over 50 countries in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and the Middle East, Tosaf has over 1400 employees spread throughout its production sites, warehouses, sales and distribution offices around the world. Tosaf CEO Amos Megides established the company in Israel in 1986, and still stands at its head. Tosaf’s major shareholders include: Megides Holdings Ltd. and the Ravago Group.See pinfa Newsletter n° 129 and n° 76

Simone Lotteria, Sirmax

Sustainability is a key objective for Sirmax and its customers, moving away from halogenated FRs, with demand for non-halogen recycled compounds, in particular pre-consumer recycled polyamides, polystyrene, polycarbonate and blends but also post-consumer polyolefins. Flame retardant solutions should offer environment and health safety and be compatible with recycling of the final compound, which requires resistance to reprocessing and compatibility with different additives in secondary material streams. Markets are evolving, for example with connectivity of things, resulting in changing material requirements, for example electrical resistance specifications (CTI, dielectric strength). Synergies between PIN FRs can achieve performance objectives but more complex formulations tend to result in higher costs. Sirmax’ experience with different FR solutions and different suppliers enables to offer flexibility and to respond to new customer needs. A challenge is availability of post-consumer engineering polymers to respond to demand for materials with recycled content.

Sirmax is a multi-product and multi-country compounder founded in 1964, with headquarters in Cittadella, Italy, with today nearly one thousand staff in thirteen plants worldwide, producing some 300 000 t/y of polyolefin, thermoplastic, engineering plastic, recycled and bio-based compounds. Sirmax is the 1st non-integrated polypropylene compounder in Europe and the 5th in the world. The company covers a wide range of markets including automotive, consumer appliances, E&E, industry, building, furniture, sport and leisure.

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