15th Conference on „Fire Retardancy and Protection of Materials, FRPM 2015”

The 15th Conference on „Fire Retardancy and Protection of Materials, FRPM 2015” took place in Berlin, Germany, at the „Federal Materials Research and Testing Establishment“ BAM, June 22-26, 2015, and hosted more than 200 attendants. Before the conference, on Sunday, June 21, a workshop on “Small-Scale Fire Testing” with the topics cone calorimetry, microscale combustion calorimeter, calorimetry developments in international standards and regulations, and challenges in bench-scale fire testing took place. 

This important European conference covers the state of the art and new developments in the field of flame retardancy of polymers and fire protection, and is particularly devoted to basic and applied fire science as well as to the exchange between scientists from industry and academia.

There were 13 sessions with 64 lectures and 64 posters on general aspects of fire retardance, new developments in phosphorous-based flame retardants, the role of radical generators, bio-based flame retardants, new developments in intumescence, the latest status in nanostructures and nanocomposites, the flame retardancy of textiles, the fire behaviour of cables, coatings and composites in aerospace, industrial applications and industry views.

The conference started with a review on fire retardance in the past and ideas for the future. Some quite interesting basic considerations were made regarding melt dripping vs. flaming in thermoplastics and the role of a milligram-scale flame calorimeter to allow a flammability assessment of plastics.

A series of papers dealt with phosphorous-containing products, including reactive and additive systems, DOPO-derivatives, bio-based and polymeric compounds. A particularly interesting section dealt with radical generators starting with an overview and applications in polystyrene foams and polyolefins.  

Nanostructures, nanocomposites and nanointumescents were dealt with in several contributions on graphene, double-layer hydroxides, and coatings for polymeric foams, and on char formers in flame retarded EVA. New flame retardant systems for textiles were presented, including advanced bio-based compounds, and textiles based on nanocellulose and nanoclays.

A session was devoted to aerospace with contributions to the fire protection of composites by coatings, carbon nanotubes and electrospun nanofibres, as well as a new intermediate-scale fire test. Composite aerospace structures were also tested to their fire, smoke and toxicity behaviour. In this context, a presentation discussed the impact of respirable fibers in carbon-fibre reinforced plastics during combustion.

The fire behaviour of cables, pyrolysis mechanisms and test methods were further addressed.

Industrial views were given in comparing the merits of halogenated vs. halogenfree flame retardant systems for engineering plastics, in safer flame retardant alternatives by using assessment methodologies for E&E products, and in adopting sustainable fire safety solutions for flame retardants.

The conference gave an excellent picture of the current status and future developments in the complex field of fire safety of polymers and flame retardants.

Further details of the conference programme under http://www.frpm2015.bam.de/en/home/index.htm.