Flame retardants are used to reduce the flammability of plastic materials. These additives serve to make ignition of plastics more difficult, inhibit the combustion process, and limit heat release. Flame retardants are added to plastic materials to meet the flammability standards for applications such as electrical and electronic components, building and construction materials, automotive and aviation, and shipping pallets. Along with complementary technologies like smoke detectors and sprinkler systems, flame retardants make an important contribution to fire safety.
In a fire, plastics thermally decompose or depolymerize to give volatile, small molecules that serve as fuel. The fuel reacts with oxygen in the flame. This reaction liberates additional heat which causes more thermal decomposition, generating more fuel to feed the flame. Amfine's flame retardants function through a mechanism called intumescence. As the plastic begins to burn, decomposition of the flame retardant creates a protective char layer at the part surface, which provides insulation to reduce heat transfer from the flame and a barrier to prevent diffusion of fuel vapors to the flame. Through these effects the flame can self-extinguish. Our intumescent flame retardants have also been shown to significantly reduce the emission of smoke and toxic gases in a fire.
Halogen-based flame retardants have been used in plastics for many years. While often effective, their use is being phased out in many countries due to concerns of potential effects to human health and the environment. Amfine's flame retardants are halogen-free, and represent more eco-friendly alternatives to conventional halogenated products. Our products also provide excellent performance in industry standard tests such as UL 94.
Flame Retardants for Engineering Plastics
Flame Retardants for Polyolefins