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BASF, Thor Fight Fire on Flammability Front

Image courtesy of BASF flame in beaker
High-performance flame-retardant additives help converters meet stringent regulatory standards.

BASF and Thor GmbH are combining their expertise in non-halogenated flame-retardant additives to provide customers with a comprehensive solution that will enhance the sustainability and performance of specific plastic compounds while meeting stringent fire-safety requirements.

Flame retardancy is an essential element for plastic components or composites that are commonly used in transportation, construction, household, and industrial applications, as accidental heat and flame exposure can lead to serious damage and endanger lives. The growing demand from the global construction and automotive industry combined with stricter fire-safety standards will significantly influence demand for sustainable flame-retardant chemicals.

Experts at Thor and plastic-additives specialists at BASF have collaborated for many years in developing sophisticated solutions to meet the demanding flame-retardant specifications, with a focus on alternatives to halogen-containing additives. Both parties are active members of the Phosphorus, Inorganic and Nitrogen Flame Retardants Association (PINFA) and work collaboratively to deliver sustainable polymeric systems that withstand ignition and fire propagation during their service life.

The combined expertise in flame-retardant additives provides customers and end-users with information highlighting the synergistic benefits of BASF’s halogen-free flame-retardant Flamestab with Thor’s phosphonates Aflammit technologies for polyolefins, a challenging flame-resistance application.

“A thorough and multidimensional assessment of an additive solution is essential to shorten the time to market. The closer our suggested formulations are to the requirements of the end users, the shorter the development time and costs for our customers,” said Armin Eckert, BU-Head of Performance Chemicals, Thor. “At Thor, we work continuously on improving our flame retardants and their performance in the desired plastics compounds. Depending on the market needs, a huge variety of fire-safety standards are available for testing our own developed flame-retardant formulations. As a service, our project partners, such as BASF, provide us with newly formulated plastic films, molded or extruded specimens for evaluation of performance,” said Eckert.

“Providing superior fire safety to a plastic part while maintaining other characteristics such as mechanical performance and light stability is a real challenge,” explained Dr. Achim Sties, Senior Vice President, Performance Chemicals Europe, BASF. “Technical experts at BASF are hard at work to provide solutions to meet our customers’ requirements and leverage our strong experience and network to respond with cost-effective and sustainable technological solutions. Together with Thor, we focus on technical combinations that help shorten the journey for a formulator or a converter to reach their flame-retardancy target and progress efficiently toward certification in a complex norm and testing environment,” said Sties.

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