Posted on 08/09/2023 in Fire Safety 2023
Polyphosphonates for performance fire safety

Richard Clay and Stephen Blair, Polymer Compounders Limited (PCL)

Based in the UK, PCL supply several thousand tonnes per year of performance thermoplastic polymer compounds to a broad range of customers in automotive, healthcare, industrial, white goods and electrical, including Tier 1’s and large OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), in particular ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), ASA (acrylonitrile styrene acrylate), PC (polycarbonate), PC/ABS and PC/ASA. Innovative, phosphorus polymers, developed by FRX Polymers, deliver phosphorus fire performance in low toxicity, low mobility polymeric molecules, compatible with certain polymers without deteriorating mechanical performance.

In particular, polyphosphonates offer a preferable alterative to brominated FRs in PC/ABS for performance applications in e.g. automotive. UL 94 V-0 can be achieved at 0.8 mm, as well as UL-V5, GWI 825°C (resistance to ignition) and aerospace low smoke, low smoke toxicity requirements. Density is c. 5% lower for comparable mechanical performance, so weight saving. Successful mechanical recycling (one reprocessing cycle) of PC/ABS with polyphosphonate PIN FRs has been shown, with fire resistance and mechanical performance maintained. An outstanding challenge is that the PFAS chemical PTFE is today used to avoid flaming dripping.

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