Fire Resistance in Plastics Conference 2009

Conference on Fire Resistance in Plastics organized by AMI at Offenbach in Germany became a very successful meeting where more than 90 delegates participated from all parts of Europe including delegates from Asian countries. It was a two days meeting with 20 lectures covering all types of flame retardants including halogen free systems.

In 2008 there were 1451500 fires in US causing 3320 deaths and 16705 injuries. Home structure fire caused 83% of fire deaths and 79% fire injuries. Residential property loss was estimated to be 8.5 billion USD. Smoke was shown to be the leading death causes followed by heat. Increase in the fire growth rate according to NIST is due to the difference in the modern furniture and construction materials. The average escape time has diminished from 17 minutes in 1970 to 3 minutes now. Present safety philosophy for the Fire Marshals in USA is to prevent ignition of the material and limit the fire spread if ignition occurs.

Among several papers on the halogen free flame retardant systems, we presented our new Paxymer™ flame retardant system to make all types of polyolefinic materials fire resistant. Paxymer™ functions as an effective flame retardant system basically by controlling both the solid phase and the gas phase reactions taking place in the material during fire. In this way, presence of Paxymer™ breaks the fire cycle. In the solid phase, the presence of Paxymer™ forms physical and covalent cross-links and in the gas phase it quenches the formation of hydrogen and hydroxyl radicals. Both of these factors result into very low peak heat release rate, no melt dripping, no pool fire, no soot formation, no formation of toxic gases and makes the material self extinguishing. Due to the polymeric nature of Paxymer™ , it has almost no influence on the mechanical properties of the base polymer. It was also shown that presence of Paxymer™ also results into no deposition on the extruder and injection molding screws and also enhances the production output.