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Techno Brief: Melamine Compounds as Flame Retardants

Melamine based flame retardants represent a small but fast growing segment in the flame retardant market. Find all about Melamine Compounds Flame Retardants in this techno brief: generalities, mode of actions, strengths & limitations as well as formulation guidelines!

Melamine derivative based Flame retardant

Next to the basic flame retarding potential of pure melamine, the 'derivative' end adds additional features. Typical examples are cyanuric acid causing a non-burning drip in polyamides, the contribution of boric acid and phosphoric acid to char formation and the influence of the 'derivative' end on thermal stability and water solubility.

Melamine cyanurate, is a salt of melamine and cyanuric acid. Melamine Cyanurate has a higher thermal stability than pure melamine, remaining stable upto about 320 °C. For this reason Melamine Cyanurate is often applied in polymers with higher processing temperatures, like polyamides. Above 320°C, it undergoes endothermic decomposition to melamine and cyanuric acid, acting as a heat sink in the process. The vaporized melamine acts as an inert gas source diluting the oxygen and the fuel gases present at the point of combustion (see Mechanism of action).

Chemical Structrure of Melamine Cyanurate
Figure 1: Chemical Structrure of Melamine Cyanurate

Melamine (Mono/Pyro/Poly) Phosphates

Melamine phosphates are substances combining the synergistic effect of melamine (thus N-containing) with P-containing components in one salt. With increasing thermal stability the melamine phosphates can be ranked as follows: Melamine Phosphate < Melamine Pyrophosphate < Melamine Polyphosphate.


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