Günter Beyer, Kabelwerk Eupen, opened the conference by identifying flame retardant development trends from an overview of scientific publications on flame retardants. All the trends noted concern PIN fire safety. He noted the increase in publications from China, now over 50% of scientific articles and patents. He highlighted 10 recent scientific papers, mostly addressing improving performance of LS0H (Low Smoke Zero Halogen) formulations.
PIN synergists studies in these papers include: layered double hydroxides, zinc borates, carbon nanoparticles (fullerenes), polymeric compatibilizing agents, zinc hydrostannate, silicates, polysiloxanes, glass frits. He noted the potential of additives which improve char resistance by ceramification, and of technologies for coating polymer foams to ensure fire protection. : He also discussed possible questions around toxicology of nanofillers, noting that carbon nanotubes are under scrutiny for toxicity, whereas organoclays are non problematic, because they only become nanodispersed within the compounding step by extrusion (no risk in processing); in fire emissions probably the nanodispersed fillers collapse to larger scale (so are no longer nanoscaled)