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Flame Retardant Additives for Electrical and Electronic Applications EU Trends and Regulations

SpecialChem / Nov 6, 2008

Electrical and electronic (EE) applications - including housings, wire and cable, and internals such as connectors – are the largest market for flame retardants in plastics globally. Flame retardant use in EE is growing strongly. The need for flame retardancy is increasing due to electronics miniaturization and higher temperatures in both processing and use. Flame retardants for EE face challenging design requirements. As electronics parts become smaller and thinner, flame retardants must withstand higher processing temperatures and have minimal affect on the material's flow properties. A flame retardants' affect on electrical properties, measured by the comparative tracking index (CTI), is also important. Formulating with flame retardants is a balancing act between these technical requirements, fire safety regulations, and environmental concerns about flame retardant chemicals. In the EU, flame retardancy of EE applications is regulated by the International Electrotechnical Commission in cooperation with the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation.

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