pinfa's first workshop in China confirms interest in halogen free FRs

In June 2016, over 250 people from academia, industry, and material science organizations attended the ISFRMT conference in Changchun - China’s 4th International Symposium on Flame-Retardant Materials and Technologies. As a session within the conference,  pinfa organised its first workshop in the People’s Republic of China.

Adrian Beard, vice-chairman of pinfa and Kan Zhou from Presafer, China, welcomed attendees and explained the raison-d’être of pinfa and the benefits of membership for Chinese flame retardants’ producers like Presafer. Serge Bourbigot from the University of Lille, France, demonstrated recent developments in the area of PIN flame retardants including approaches for bio-based flame retardants. Anteneh Worku from the USA highlighted the role of flame retardants for fire safety in general – that they are an essential element in the toolbox for consumer safety. Hans Wendschlag from Hewlett Packard, Sweden, presented the equipment manufacturers’ perspective on environmental requirements for flame retardants including ecolabels and the substitution of critical legacy flame retardants. Xu Fuchao from the University of Antwerp, Belgium, summarized recent resesearch into consumer exposure to flame retardants which has lead to concerns, primarily on small-molecule chlorinated and brominated flame retardants as well as phosphate esters. He urged producers to transition to more sustainable solutions.

Tim Reilly from pinfa North America told the audience about flame retardants’ usage in North America, their fire safety benefits, societal concerns and the future. There is a worrying trend to reduce flammability and safety standards in order to get rid of problematic flame retardants, instead of substituting these with benign materials. Jessie Kang from Clariant China turned to a totally different topic – “protecting your inventions: counterfeiting and intellectual property for flame retardants”. Multinational companies are sometimes faced with illegal copy-cat activities by local producers in China, whereas the Chinese government is promoting the build-up of Chinese intellectual property and patents in particular. The lively discussions showed the strong interest in China to ensure product fire safety and conform to international standards by using PIN flame retardants to improve environment and health profiles.


The presentations: