Bansi Kaul, MCA Technologies, presented his view on industrial priorities for PIN flame retardant development:
- Reduced PIN FR loadings, whilst ensuring fire safety, because high loadings are contrary to the objective of plastics of reducing weight. This will result in a continuing push to develop new, high-performance organic PIN FRs
- Compatibility with colour finish flexibility
- Flexibility for use with different polymers, different properties.
His company’s MCA-PPM-triazine, an organic phosphorus-nitrogen compound can act as an effective, water resistant, synergist with different inorganic PIN FRs and organic intumescent PIN FRs in a wide range of polymers. The product acts by improving char coverage (avoiding cracks in char which enable flames to contact with polymer).
Bansi Kaul considers that regulations need to be improved in different areas related to both flame retardant products and to fire safety. Reducing smoke emissions: flame retardants are often used at just the minimum dose needed to pass applicable fire tests. This can result in smoke emissions, as the product “nearly burns”. Better regulation should widen smoke emission testing and limit smoke emissions. Halogenated flame retardants mostly act on the flame in fire, so with smoke emission, whereas PIN FRs which generate char will mostly reduce smoke emission, both be preventing flame contact with the polymer and by trapping smoke and soot particles in the char.Testing and limiting levels of flame retardant migration out of polymers, both in product use and also in recycling or reprocessing. End-of-life: recycling of plastics is in many cases not possible, because the polymers deteriorate and lose properties with ageing, so downcycling, breakdown to fuels or incineration will be necessary. This should be taken into account in flame retardant regulation.