Report from the Conference on „Plastics, Fire Safety, and Flame Retardants“

 The 8th Conference on „Plastics, Fire Safety, and Flame Retardants" took place on July 21st and 22nd, 2006 in Würzburg, Germany, at the „Süddeutsches Kunststoff-Zentrum" SKZ (South German Polymer Centre) and had around 80 participants. The conference language was German.

The first section Fire Regulations and Testing dealt with new developments in building and rail vehicles as well as with approvals in the E&E sector. The reaction to fire of construction products in the context of the Construction Products Directive (CPD) and the repercussions on national level, fire protection and tests for rail vehicles in Europe and Germany (planned toxicity requirements), and the UL certification system for the fire safety of E&E plastics, components and devices were discussed in depth.

The second section Flame Retardants, Applications and Environmental Aspects started with the mechanisms driving the phosphorous flame retardants mode of action in polymers and resulting opportunities for product development. Several papers covering selection criteria for flame retardants, intumescent systems for polyolefins, the role of nanocomposites for fire safety, flame retarded compounds and masterbatches, and the processing of flame retarded resin systems in the RTP-process. Particular attention was attached to the fire safety of printed circuit boards and linear polyesters (PBT) containing various phosphorous flame retardants meeting the UL 94 V0 requirements like their brominated counterparts.

The computer modelling of home fires considering the use of smoke alarms and flame retardants was an extremely interesting topic showing the benefits of such systems for increased fire safety.

Finally, the still controversially discussed topic of the compatibility of flame retardants and environmental aspects was dealt with. The main points presented were the EU Risk Assessments for flame retardants, the chemicals regulation proposal REACH, the European directives for E&E waste (WEEE and RoHS), the position of E&E equipment manufacturers (OEM) as well as the current status of ecolabels, green procurement, and consumer magazines.

The conference book with all presentations is available via under Kontakt (in German).