A developer of sustainable flame-retardant products, FRX Innovations reports that it has filed a new patent for what it describes as a breakthrough in PFAS-free polycarbonate (PC) and its alloys that meet or exceed rigid fire-retardancy requirements. The so-called “forever chemical” PFAS increasingly is being banned, and this product allows for completely PFAS-free formulations in polycarbonate, including elimination of anti-drip agent PTFE, said FRX.
Flame-retardant PC and its alloys are used in a range of everyday products from consumer electronics and electric vehicles to home appliances, as well as many industrial applications.
Flame-retardant PC is forecast to grow at a 5.5% compound annual growth rate, according to Industry Growth Insights, and it forms part of the $1.5 billion PC sheet market, as estimated by Allied Market Research. The global flame-retardant market will reach a value of more than $10 billion by 2024, according to a Market Watch report published in December 2022. FRX believes it is extremely well placed with its existing international customer base and growing interest from other global players to pursue business both with the large PC resin producers and the many compounders specializing in PC blends and alloys in all major markets.
Major OEMs such as Apple and IKEA have made a commitment to eliminate PFAS in their products. In PC and its blends, PFAS has been replaced with KPFBS, otherwise known as Rimar salt. FRX said it has shown the capability to work with the replacement material.
Major OEMs also are taking the view that the well-known anti-drip agent PTFE should also be replaced as part of the move away from PFAS chemicals, according to FRX, which noted that replacing the additive while maintaining the necessary flame-retardant properties has proved elusive.
FRX’s technical team reportedly has demonstrated that this goal is achievable, while maintaining other important material properties such as impact resistance. Transparent formulations are also available.
FRX technical leader Dr Xiudong Sun will describe this development at the AMI Fire Retardants in Plastics event in Philadelphia on April 26 and 27 and at Chinaplas in Shenzhen on April 17 to 20.