Effective flame retardant for polycarbonate and polyethylene terephthalate – GRAFE develops alternative to halogenated products.
GRAFE, headquartered in Blankenhain, has developed a new effective flame retardant for polycarbonate. It contains neither halogen nor phosphorus and achieves a UL94-V0 classification even at comparatively low dosages. “The carrier system of the masterbatch is based on an impact-resistant base material and thus compensates for negative influences on the mechanical properties by adding flame retardant additives,” explains Dr. Jan Stadermann, head of the Material Science Department at GRAFE.
Since the beginning of the year, the company has been conducting research on this new development. The last tests were successfully completed in September and the new product is now ready for the market. “The increasing use of electronics in households and offices increases the risk of fire damage,” says Dr. Stadermann. “Brominated flame retardants are mostly used for electronic components. Substances such as DecaBDE are very effective, but are increasingly subject to European regulations, some of which go as far as bans,” according to Dr. Stadermann as he explains the background to the search for an alternative.
Other flame retardants currently used also have disadvantages as well. “Products based on pure nitrogen do not show the necessary effectiveness and some phosphorus-based flame retardants can lead to corrosion in electronic products,” the expert explains. “Even with a batch dosage of ten percent, we achieve the UL94-V0 classification. This means that we realize good flame retardancy very effectively without having to accept other disadvantages”.
The new product is designed for opaque applications, which include such areas as electronic components, battery applications or claddings in passenger cars and trucks. The range of applications is wide and the market for electronic components in the household and automotive sectors is growing steadily.
GRAFE offers another new development in the field of halogen-free flame retardant masterbatches for polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Due to their properties, engineering thermoplastics such as PET are suitable for the production of housing parts for electrical appliances and electrical plug connections. Dr. Stadermann explains that these applications place particularly high demands on flame retardants. “With the newly developed PET flame retardant masterbatch from GRAFE, the flame retardancy standard UL94-V0 can be achieved with an addition of 10%. With this comparatively small addition, effective flame retardancy can be achieved with PET plastic in the PET-C variant when small electrical parts are used”.