Workshop on flame retardants and presentation of German AIF research projects at the Fraunhofer LBF in Darmstadt, Germany, on 18 September 2014

The Working Group Fire Safety of the plastics section in the Fraunhofer LBF Institute in Darmstadt, Germany, had invited to a workshop on new developments in flame retardancy including presentations from industry and results from two ongoing German research projects.

Under the chair of Prof. Manfred Döring and Dr. Rudolf Pfaendner, both LBF, in the morning, four presentations on new developments in the fields phosphorous flame retardants and synergists were given, followed by the results of the two research projects in the afternoon.

In the first presentation, Elke Schlosser of Clariant gives an overview on the application of synergistic effects with metal phosphinates in various polymers. In the following paper, Bansi Kaul of MCA Technologies discusses the use of polymeric compounds based on piperazine, morpholine and triazine as part of intumescent systems in polyolefins and as synergists for metal phosphinates. Hans-Jürgen Voss of Trovotech presents another interesting inorganic modified glass particles system used as a synergist with melamine cyanurate and metal phosphinates in engineering plastics. These foamed glass particles can also be used as carriers for organic and inorganic substances with a wide range of applications. Finally, Jérôme de Boysère of Thor Chemie gives an overview on organic nitrogen-phosphorus and phosphinate-containing flame retardants in conjunction with synergists based on amino-ether HALS (hindered amine light stabilisers) structures. They are particularly effective in polyolefin films and other thin-walled applications.

In the afternoon, two German research projects funded by AIF, a non-profit working group of the German Industrial Research Associations, and carried out at LBF were presented and results obtained so far discussed. The projects deal with the “simultaneous thermogravimetry/differential thermal analysis and pyrolysis GC/MS for investigating efficiency and mode of action of flame retardant additives in plastics” (presented by Elke Metzsch-Zilligen) and “Using dispersing agents to optimise flame retardants formulations for plastics” (presented by Markus Mazurowski).

The flame retardants workshop and the lively discussions have shown the wealth of possibilities to use phosphorus flame retardants in conjunction with synergists and the high efficiency of these systems in many polymers. The ongoing research projects illustrate the progresses made to better understand the reaction mechanisms of flame retardant systems and the possibilities to improve the efficiency of flame retardant formulations.