Chinese and International Markets, Requirements, Challenges - 3rd Conference on Flame Retardants

Chinese and International Markets, Requirements, Challenges and Innovations organized by the SINO-German Plastic Technology Service (Cheng De) Co., Ltd. and chaired by Dr. Troitzsch Fire and Environment Protection Service FEPS took place in Shanghai on 16 and 17 April 2012. Around 60 delegates and speakers discussed and presented drivers regarding new developments in flame retardants (FRs), FR plastics and synergistic systems for use in building construction, transportation, electrical engineering and electronics (E&E) sectors. The objective of this conference was to help all those involved in the field of fire safety to identify the developments in the FR markets, changing requirements and technologies for finding new and trendsetting strategies.

The first part dealt with innovations in halogenfree and halogenated flame retardants. The focus here was on new sustainable halogenfree reactive and additive FR systems, particularly on a new family of reactive phosphorus-based FRs for epoxy resins, "drop-in" brominated polymeric FRs for thermoplastics and polystyrene foams, N/P as well as intumescent systems for polyolefins, and new FR engineering plastics meeting the most stringent requirements in E&E and for elastomers in building construction.

Synergistic flame retardant systems were particularly addressed in a conference session. A paper on low and antimony free FR thermoplastics showed the possibilities in reducing or avoiding the use of this now quite expensive synergist. In two other papers, novel melamine-based phosphate salts and boehmite used in conjunction with metal phosphinates in engineering plastics showing excellent FR and electrical properties were presented.      

The second part of the conference dealt with new approaches in fire safety regulations, tests and their impact on the use of flame retardant products in the sectors building in Europe, railway applications and aircraft, E&E equipment, as well as in upholstered furniture and mattresses. Particular attention was paid to fire safety aspects of busses interior products flammability; studies have shown that the current fire safety levels are by far too low.

For those interested in European Union funded Research, the Polyfire project "Processing and upscaling of fire-resistant nano-filled thermosetting polyester resin" was presented, and the work achieved discussed in an Industrial Interest Group workshop after the conference. The aim is to establish contacts with industry and other parties to promote the use and dissemination of the results obtained in the Polyfire project.   

The numerous discussions and comments following the presentations and in the coffee breaks showed the high interest of the audience in the different topics dealt with in this conference.

The Fourth International Flame Retardants Conference will take place just before the next Chinaplas on 18 and 19 May 2013 in Guangzhou.