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Are your additives in synergy? (When 1 + 1 = 3)

SpecialChem / May 2, 2001

The benefits of 'synergy' (when two or more components add up to more than their calculated sum) are often cited by businessmen when 'selling' the latest merger. But they are regularly delivered by chemistry today, and perhaps nowhere so positively as in additives. Figure 1: Flame retardants are widely used in television housings. There is still much discussion about how it actually happens, but synergistic reactions are increasingly harnessed in the formulation of additive systems, especially in the development of multi-functional systems (such as pigments that act as stabilizers, and vice-versa, and lubricants and mould release agents that also provide other useful properties). To date, this phenomenon has been used mainly in the formulation of flame retardant (FR) systems, and synergistic reactions are one of the most promising avenues of current research. They also make it possible to reduce the amounts of other FR agents employed, and may often make a positive contribution towards delivering efficient flame retardancy within increasingly stringent FR regulations.

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