13th Conference on „Trends in Fire Safety and Innovative Flame Retardants for Plastics"

The 13th Conference on „Trends in Fire Safety and Innovative Flame Retardants for Plastics“ took place on 11-12 September 2013 in Würzburg, Germany, at the „Süddeutsches Kunststoff-Zentrum“ SKZ. The focus of this conference was on new trends in the fields building, transportation, environmental aspects, new flame retardant (FR) systems and flame retarded polymers: 

  • Building: Fire statistics, insulation foams, façade fires
  • Railways: European fire regulations, the new EN 45545 standard
  • Environment and FRs in E&E: REACh, Enfiro-Project, USA: GrenScreen)
  • Printed circuit boards and cable developments
  • Fire safety of polymers: Stabilizer influence, compounders and FRs
  • Flame retardants: New FRs and synergists (P/N-based and salts, inorganic, P-FRs in PA-fibres)

In the first section on fire safety, an overview was given on the EU regulations and tests for building insulation products, examples of spectacular façade fires and how they could have been avoided were shown. In transportation, the new European standard EN 45545 for the fire protection of railways has been introduced in March 2013 and will substitute the national tests after a transition period of 3 years.

Two papers were given in the section on flame retardants and the environment: one on current and future regulations and voluntary activities regarding the use of flame retardants, and another one on how to find out environmentally preferred flame retardants in a “GreenScreen” substance hazard assessment.

The following sections dealt with new developments in flame retardants and polymers starting with overviews on printed circuit boards and the growing use of halogenfree systems, as well as on cables with nanocomposites to improve their fire performance.

Flame retarded polymers and flame retardants were addressed in a series of presentations including ways to optimize the science-based development of FR polymers, to consider the ageing and stabilization of polymers in the presence of FRs, and in using new synergistic FR systems based on specific extruded glass particles as well as on melamine-based poly metal phosphates. Mode of action basics and various applications for FRs based on nitrogen and phosphorous were presented. An overview paper on flame retardant systems used in compounds and masterbatches discussed their applications in practice. An interesting presentation on PA6 fibres containing new phosphorous-based FRs showed new ways for flame retardancy in this field.  

The conference programme is available at: www.skz.de/m_103910