The flame retardants world meets in Lille - FRPM13

The picture shows a reflection of light in the museum La Piscine in Roubaix which the attendees visited.

The 14th European Meeting on Fire Retardant Polymers (FRPM13), 30 June to 4 July 2013, took place in Lille, France, with 220 participants from all over the world, mainly from academia, industry and institutes. The main topics were:

  • Fundamental aspects in fire behaviour and in flame retardancy
  • Fire retardancy of polymers and bio-based polymers
  • Fire behaviour of composite materials
  • Fire retardancy of fibres and textiles
  • Nanoscience and synergy
  • Fire protection and protective coatings
  • Industrial applications
  • Modeling and simulation in fire
  • Regulation, standardization and fire testing
  • Environmental aspects, fire toxicity and smoke

Before the conference, a well-visited short course on the basics of flame retardancy with contributions on the thermal degradation of polymers, the mode of action of flame retardants, the interpretation of fire testing, flame retardants and industrial applications took place. During the 4 conference days, 6 plenary and 9 keynote lectures from invited speakers and over 60 oral presentations were given. In addition, a poster session with around 60 posters presented by researchers from academia and institutes gave a good overview on new developments in flame retardants and polymeric systems.

Regarding new developments, the focus in this conference was on flame retardant systems based on phosphorous, and here particularly on DOPO and its derivatives (9, 10-Dihydro-9-Oxa-10-Phosphaphenanthrene-10-Oxide), and on synergistic systems for use together with metal phosphinates (new melamine poly-metal-phosphates). Classical nanocomposites such as montmorillonite derivatives, layered double hydroxides, carbon nanotubes and graphene, as well as expandable graphite were discussed in a series of papers. Bio-based flame retarded polymers, composites and foams, intumescent coatings, as well as polylactide acid systems were presented.   

Other papers reported on new fibre reinforced composite systems for railways and aircraft, thermosets, fibres and their fire performance when using specific flame retardant formulations.

A session on testing, toxicity and standards showed the trends in fire requirements and tests in building, and dealt with the new standard EN 45545 for railways and its implication on ships. The influence of flame retardants in the release of smoke and fire gases such as CO and HCN was discussed. In the fields E&E and furniture, the actions of activists to eliminate open flame ignition and flammability tests because of the use of flame retardants would neglect basic fire safety requirements in an initiating fire and lead to higher fire risks.

The FRPM13 gave an excellent insight into the state of the art and progresses made by the leading universities, institutes and industry in the fields flame retardants and flame retardancy of polymers in Europe, the USA and China. The conference programme is available under: