Mahash Patil, Indian Oxides, presented his vision for flame retardants (FRs) of the future: polymeric or react into polymers (to avoid possible environmental losses and toxicity), biodegradeable and not contributing to toxic smoke in fires. They should also support not deteriorate polymer properties, and face the challenge of achieving this whilst keeping costs down.
He summarised a range of possible developments in this direction: nanopolymer composites (e.g. layered double hydroxides), organic modified clays, carbon nanotubes, phosphate-functionalised graphene oxide, siloxanes (POSS), renewable-based FRs (e.g. using DNA from fish waste or cellulose). He noted the important need for tighter fire safety regulation in developing countries, which will drive demand for FRs, and the need to educate decision makers and the public that FRs serve a vital purpose in reducing fire risks.