Posted on 13/01/2023 in Electric & Electronic Building & Construction Transport Furniture & Textiles Fire Safety Recycling 2023
FRs for specialist cables, films, coatings

Markus Kemmler, Kemmler Consulting

Cable producers today often try to meet, with the same non-halogenated product, the fire test requirements of Europe, China and the USA. This is highly challenging, and can be economically not feasible or result in processability problems. The general move towards HFFR (Halogen Free Flame Retardant) means replacing PVC by more complex formulations, in which non-halogenated polymers are loaded with PIN flame retardants. This leads to lower mechanical performance compared to PVC alone, and difficulties to achieve specifications such as tear strength and elongation. Cable producers are today looking for a non-halogenated polymer with fire resistance to economically replace PVC. A difficulty is that the cable producers do not dialogue directly with the polymer and FR industries, because they generally use formulations provided by compounders. A specific need is for PIN FR solutions for TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) which can achieve US NFPA 262 requirements whilst ensuring mechanical performance.

Kemmler Consulting has 30 years of experience in cable polymer formulation and implementation, material sourcing, compounding through to cable manufacture. Kemmler Consulting has today three associate experts. 

Rina Lupu-Matas, Avery Dennison

High-performance FR materials are needed to be compatible with resins, to formulate and apply as thin coatings on films with specific properties. Avery Dennison Hanita coated films (e.g. polyester) are used in widely varying applications, with demanding and particular functions, including e.g. print substrates, labels, heat insulating panels for building and construction, laminated blinds (textile/PET), tapes for the automotive and EV markets. The coating process is a high-volume, roll-to-roll continuous process. There is an increasing demand for non-halogenated FR solutions, particularly in automotive, to avoid the risk of halogen compound release in end-of-life recycling. Halogen-free in electronics is already a standard. Thinner films and coatings offer lower materials cost and lower weight but require very fine particles to ensure a smooth gloss or satin finish. One challenge for PIN FR solutions is compatibility with water-based (non-solvent) coating applications to offer a more sustainable solution.

Avery Dennison is a global materials science company with 36,000 employees in 50 countries, specialising in labelling and functional materials, particularly pressure-sensitive and adhesive materials for labels, bonding tapes, and RFID (radio frequency identification) solutions. Avery Dennison products are used in almost every major industry sector.

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