Maryline Desseix, PolyOne, explained why flame retardants are essential to protect lives and property. A video from Lancashire UK Fire Services shows how flashover can develop in less than three minutes in a home, even when materials comply with fire safety standards, whereas fire services take around 8 minutes on average to arrive.
We all want fire-safe products, but we all also want the flame retardants in products around us to be safe to our health, our children, and the environment. With that in mind, PolyOne is developing new products and screening strategies to identify and test new flame retardants addressing the crucial factors of a fire risk scenario, such low smoke and flame, heat release and smoke toxicity. The efforts are focused on non-halogenated materials. Ms. Desseix considers that regulation can and should continue to push industry in this direction. Key challenges are designing flame retardants on a case-by-case basis, based on polymer structure and properties, to optimise performance and reduce smoke density, which can vary widely depending on material properties and fire conditions.