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K 2022 News

ATO-Alternative Synergist for Flame-Retardant Polymers Also Functions as Biocide

Image courtesy of Tolsa additive
Tolsa’s ADINS range of modified, naturally occurring silicate clay addresses safety concerns involving antimony trioxide (ATO). It will exhibit the products at K 2022.

Tolsa S.A., a supplier of specialized additives for a range of markets, will showcase its ADINS range of flame-retardant (FR) materials for PP, PVC, rubber-polymer systems, and silicones, along with its ADINS Protection range for biocide applications at the upcoming K Show. ADINS technology is based on an organo-modified, high-purity, ultra-fine, and naturally occurring needle-like silicate clay.

“Our unique FR technology continues to expand, and we see continuing growth for ADINS synergists in a wide range of systems that require the highest standards of flame retardancy,” said Almudena Vidal, Marketing Manager for Tolsa’s Industrial Business Unit. “Our materials have been well received in the market and they are highly versatile and can be fine-tuned to meet the high-performance needs of formulators and end users.”

Technology adapted to polyamide matrices

In a recent development, Tolsa translated its unique ADINS FR technology to polyamide (PA) matrices for applications in electrical/electronics (E&E), automotive, textile, and transportation markets. The company is developing new products for these systems.

During the last two years, Tolsa has completed extensive testing with PA matrices using a range of ADINS products. The company has successfully reduced total heat release levels more than 20% compared to competitive additive solutions. 

ADINS flame-retardant technology offers a versatile range of additives for polymers that act as synergists with halogen and halogen-free flame-retardant systems. They are an alternative to antimony trioxide (ATO), one of the most widely used FR additives but whose safety is under regulatory study because of toxicity and carcinogenicity concerns. In addition, the variability of ATO prices and supply issues have generated additional worries among end users. In some applications such as E&E, its use is unavoidable despite the fact that an increased hydroxide FR load generates processability and performance issues. Therefore, there is a need for safer synergists like ADINS that can reduce the ATO dosage without damaging performance and processability, said Tolsa.

ADINS helps to reduce the ATO content from formulations (in PVC or PP matrices for example) by up to 50% or eliminate it entirely when combined with flame-retardant systems like ATH or MDH. ADINS synergists also drastically reduce dripping, thus allowing a V-0 rating for different systems, such as polyamide and polyester.

Growing demand in wire and cable sector

At K 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany, Tolsa will also highlight the wire and cable market where ADINS FR products are meeting growing demand for synergists in an environment of increasingly stringent regulations.

ADINS technology allows the development of custom grades that guarantee compliance with specific client and industry requirements. ADINS significantly improves the behavior of plastic components under fire conditions, enabling their compliance with the most stringent international health and safety regulations such as the European Construction Products Regulation (CPR) or the Railway EN 45545 regulations.

ADINS synergists promote char formation and create a physical barrier, protecting the material and reducing heat and smoke emission as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The required dosage of ADINS is low, ranging from 1 to 5% for commonly used formulations; however, the impact on properties is significant, even allowing a reduction in FR doses.

Biocide line approved for use as polymer additive

Tolsa said it will also showcase its ADINS Protection biocide line, which has been approved for use as a polymer additive.

The company offers three different grades of ADINS Protection biocide products for thermoplastic applications — two are based on silver and one on zinc. ADINS technology allows the incorporation of different active substances on the surface of the clay, obtaining a uniform distribution. In addition, the product allows an optimal dispersion in the matrix, which translates into high antimicrobial activity at lower dosages.

Because of its stability, ADINS Protection allows for reduced amounts of the active substance to obtain the same antimicrobial activity, thus increasing its durability and reducing cost of the formulation and minimizing its environmental impact. Targeted applications include outdoor furniture, architectural and hospital products, and plastics and rubber applications such as toys.

In collaboration with Delta Tecnic, Tolsa completed a study of the antimicrobial activity in PVC formulations for swimming pools. It was verified that PVC incorporating ADINS Protection additives was biocidal against two of the most common bacteria in swimming pools (E. coli and P. aureuginosa).

ADINS Protection is also very active against all enveloped viruses, including coronavirus types, norovirus, rotavirus, and adenovirus, according to European Standard 14476. Products comply with the European Directive on toy safety (2009/48/EC). The company has several customers who are in the final process of obtaining regulatory approval for the final formulation with ADINS Protection for toys.

Tolsa will highlight these latest developments for both material families at K 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany, from Oct. 19 to 26. The company is exhibiting in booth D46 in Hall 8B.

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