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Inherently Flame Retardant Polymers Find Wider Uses

SpecialChem / Dec 1, 2004

As engineering thermoplastics gradually replace metals, glass and ceramics in heavy duty automotive, aerospace, electrical/electronic and industrial applications, the issue of flame retardance has become increasingly important in materials routinely exposed to high-temperatures. But many of the additives used to impart flame retardance to plastics - particularly halogenated organics - are under suspicion for environmental and health reasons; some are being phased out due to regulations or the reluctance of compounders and fabricators to employ them. As a result, many users of engineering plastics in demanding applications are switching to polymers that are inherently flame retardant, thus eliminating or reducing the need for flame-suppressing additives Polymers with inherent flame retardance often have other advantages as well, such as exceptional strength, dimensional stability, and chemical and abrasion resistance. But these materials are usually more expensive than non-inherently flame retardant plastics, even when the cost of added flame retardants is factored in.

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