Sustainable halogenated/antimony trioxide flame retardant systems in different end-use applications. A SAFR® based evaluation.

Campine @ the AMI Flame Retardants in Plastics

Conventional flame retardant (FR) formulations are based on halogenated substances. These are effective in low doses with a minimal impact on the physical properties of the polymer and have a good price / performance ratio. In most of the halogenated flame retardant formulations, antimony trioxide (ATO) is used as a synergist, acting as a radical stabilizer that delays the ignition. In the last years, environmental awareness and sustainability have become increasingly important, resulting in careful selection of raw materials for new product and application developments.

SAFR® (Systematic Assessment of Flame Retardants) is a methodology developed by ICL-IP. It is a tool that provides an evaluation of specific flame-retardants (FRs) in their application, enabling users to choose the most sustainable product for the intended use.

The core of SAFR® is to evaluate the potential migration of the FR to the surface of plastic materials. Until now, SAFR® assessments have been focusing on the FR additive in different types of formulations. As ATO is also included in many of these formulations, Campine decided to develop a similar methodology in order to study the potential migration of ATO to a polymer surface.

Together with ICL-IP we have selected several end-use applications based on a ‘brominated FR/ ATO’ system. The migration of the brominated FR as well as that of the ATO have been investigated. The maximum amount of migrated ATO measured on all samples was lower than 2.5µg/cm2, which is far below any regulation on dust.  These results demonstrate that the risk that a person gets in direct contact with ATO, once it is encapsulated in a plastic, is extremely small.

Our Product Manager Karen Janssens presented the details of this study at the Antimony day in Antwerp (1 Oct  2019) and the AMI Fire Resistance in Plastics conference in Koln (3-5 Dec 2019).

Campine @ the AMI Flame Retardants in Plastics

Karen Janssens at the AMI conference in Koln