Reimo Faber, SABIC, outlined the challenges of ensuring fire safety, with both low heat release and low smoke & toxicity, for high performance thermoplastic materials for mass transit applications.
These markets are fast-evolving, and demand lightweight materials with very high material performance, design flexibility, reliability and aesthetic requirements. To meet these demands, SABIC engages directly in fire testing, to understand how FR systems are really working in different conditions and ensure that they robustly pass tests, not simply obtain certification. Fire standards have not been developed specifically for thermoplastics, and therefore typical behaviours such as intumescence, melting, deforming and shrinking leads to challenges to determine meeting requirements. Although there is no regulatory driver for PIN FR systems in mass transit, SABIC downstream users often want non-halogenated materials for environmental reasons, and this is a key objective of flame retardant – polymer system development. Additionally, FR-polymer systems should be compatible with industry material recycling.
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) www.sabic.com, is a global petrochemical company, and a major producr of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics. SABIC operates in more than 40 countries and manufactures in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.