The technology by Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, which sets new standards in non-halogenated flame retardants offering exceptional ecological, toxicological and performance properties, was featured in the new European Union research project into substitution options for brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Entitled “Life Cycle Assessment of Environmenally Compatible Flame Retardants” (ENFIRO), the three-year viability study involved 12 partners and looked at 15 commercially available, non-halogenated flame retardants of different composition and applications. It found halogen-free flame retardants (HFFRs), such as Exolit OP and Exolit AP based on ammonium polyphosphate, to offer similar fire performance and technical application capabilities as BFRs while producing less smoke and less undesirable components in smoke. In the case of printed circuit boards, HFFRs were as good as or better compared to the reference circuit boards produced using brominated FRs.
The results underline the real possibility for manufacturers to produce sophisticated components that must meet high safety and fire protection requirements without halogenated flame retardants.
In addition, Clariant, was amongst the nominated finalists for the prestigious German business innovation prize “Innovationspreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft 2012/2013” for its non-halogenated flame retardant Exolit OP. A jury of leading science and business representatives acknowledged the contribution of Clariant’s pioneering phosphorous-based technology to improving the environmental and health profile of flame retardants used in electrical and electronics (E&E) applications. A total of 275 companies entered the annual competition, awarded in four categories, which recognizes the most significant scientific, technical, business and intellectual innovations. Clariant was amongst the five finalists in the industrial category.
“Industries such as consumer electronics and telecommunications, along with electrical engineering, photovoltaics, household appliances and others, seek the optimal technological and economical solutions to fulfil fire safety requirements. Independent acknowledgement of the ecological, toxicological and performance benefits of non-halogenated flame retardants such as Exolit will help provide the leverage and positive support these industries need to transition toward more environmentally-compatible flame retardants for their applications,” comments Adrian Beard, Head of Marketing for Flame Retardants at Clariant.