Flame retardants

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  • Flame retardants are chemicals used in thermoplastics, thermosets, textiles and coatings that inhibit or resist the spread of fire. These can be separated into several different classes of chemicals: Minerals such as aluminium hydroxide ATH, magnesium hydroxide MDH, huntite and hydromagnesite , various hydrates, red phosphorus, and boron compounds, mostly borates.
  • The annual consumption of flame retardants is currently over 1.5 million tonnes per year, which is the equivalent of a sales volume of approx. 1.9 billion Euro (2.4 billion US-$).
  • Fire is a chemical reaction between oxygen and a fuel, triggered by energy (an ignition source or heat).The presence of heat, fuel and air in a fire can act in concert to propagate combustion until one or more is removed. Heat causes the thermal degradation of fuel into combustible gases and heats the air, making it more reactive. Flammable gases combine with air to generate a fire. The fire in turn releases heat, which continues the cycle. Flame retardants have become a class of chemicals which receive more and more scientific and public attention.
  • Phosphorus (non-halogenated), inorganic and nitrogen flame retardants are additives that can be added to or applied as a treatment to organic materials such as plastics and textiles to impart fire protection to the materials. Nitrogen based flame retardants are typically melamine and melamine derivatives (e. g., melamine cyanurate, melamine polyphosphate, melem, melon). They are often used in combination with phosphorus based flame retardants.
  • Phosphorus based flame retardants include organic and inorganic phosphates, phosphonates and phosphinates as well as red phosphorus, thus covering a wide range of phosphorus compounds with different oxidation states.
  • The Army’s mad for smartphones. It’s testing Android devices it bought from the local electronics store to see how they operate on its experimental, homebrewed data network. And one thing it seems to have forgotten to buy for the dismounted soldiers who’ll have to furiously tap the screens to send data during firefights: texting gloves.
  • A recent request for information from the Army says that there’s a need for a “capacitive touch screen compatible Army combat glove.” It’s a simple request: a “combat survivable” glove with enough stuff on the fingertips to ensure the “tactile accuracy” of troops mashing the screens on their handsets. Combat survivable, in this case, means flame-retardant.
  • The consumption of flame-retardant chemicals worldwide in 2008 was more than 3.2 billion pounds. BCC estimates this volume to reach nearly 4.3 billion pounds worldwide by 2014, for a CAGR of 4.9%.

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