Water-based halogen-free, flame-retardant emulsions debut in Sino-U.S. collaboration

Polymeric halogen-free flame retardant (FR) solution supplier FRX Polymers Inc., has announced a joint development agreement with China’s Yoo-Point Group for the production of water-based emulsions which contain FRX Polymers’ Nofia phosphonate halogen-free flame retardants. The emulsions are particularly suited for use in polyurethane (PU) coatings and low-density flexible PU foam.

Coated fabrics are among the target applications for the new water-based halogen-free flame-retardant emulsions.

Due to Nofia FR’s less than 400-nanometer particle size in the emulsion, the material reportedly delivers stability and outstanding flame retardant properties in addition to a low total volatile organic components (TVOC) rating, allowing PU foams and coatings to meet strict automotive interior specifications.

Under the joint development agreement, Yoo-Point, a leading resin producer for the coatings market, will market and sell the new Nofia FR-based emulsions to customers in China. Meanwhile, FRX Polymers will be responsible for marketing and commercialization outside of China. The Nofia FR water-based emulsion – considered to be an environmentally friendly alternative to solvent-based systems - is already enjoying commercial success in PU-based foams and coatings in China.

Nofia FRs enable these foam products to meet various automotive fire safety standards as well as new total VOC and fogging standards from global car producers and regional in-vehicle air quality regulations. These include the new Chinese mandatory standard GB/T 27630-201X.

“This is a brand new and novel form factor for Nofia phosphonates which underscores the versatility of our technology,” said Marc Lebel, President and CEO of FRX Polymers. “This joint development agreement opens up many new market opportunities for Nofia flame retardants and has global implications.” In addition to PU, the water-based emulsion system could be incorporated in other resins that are compatible with Nofia FRs, according to Lebel.

“We’re thrilled to be working with FRX Polymers on this game-changing development which delivers a highly sustainable, water-based FR solution for the coatings market,” said Wu Wenhua, general manager of Yoo-Point Group.

The water-based emulsion is targeted at low-density PU foam applications such as automotive headliners and PU coatings for FR clothing, rain gear, and synthetic leather.

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