High Heat Additives Selection

Additives used with commodity polymers cannot give the best results with high temperature polymers. This is because of the lack of high temperature stability of these traditional additives. This fact has led to the development of specific additives that can be used with high temperature polymers. This guide will review the three main high heat additives: antioxidants, flame retardants and processing aids used with high heat polymers. Read on and uncover the features they offer in several high temperature polymers.

Flame Retardants

Flame retardantsHigh temperature polymers are generally flammable, burning easily when heated to a high enough temperature. Flame retardants are added to increase the resistance to ignition, reduce flame spread, suppress smoke formation and prevent the material from dripping.

The primary goal is to delay the ignition and burning steps of the high temperature polymer, thus allowing people more time to escape from the affected area. A secondary consideration for the use of a flame retardant is to limit property damage.

Flame retardants work by interfering with either the fuel, oxygen or source of ignition of a fire. They can do that either physically or chemically.

Those materials that have a physical effect either cool the polymer below its combustion temperature, form a solid or gaseous protective layer that excludes oxygen, or add inert gases that dilute the fuel in its gaseous state. The flame retardant materials that act chemically interrupt the combustion process by reacting with elements in the gaseous phase or by shielding the high temperature polymer through the formation of a carbonaceous surface layer.

Flame retardants for High Temperature Polymers


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