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Flame retardants: trends and new developments

SpecialChem / Jun 18, 2001

New solutions to flammability are being offered by the $2.3 billion flame retardants market. From around 200 different materials, this article looks at the latest developments described at recent conferences and places them in perspective. After a period of some confusion, attempting to meet requirements for performance and environment that often contradict each other, it now looks as though flame retardants (FR) are beginning to settle down. From a host of 150-200 different materials, a few key groups are emerging, promising effective action, with low or zero evolution of toxic or hazardous by-products. It is a valuable market, worth more than $2.3 billion (according to Eurobrom BV) and making up about 27% of the $8.6 billion 'performance' additives market. The main FR materials are halogens, phosphorus, inorganics and melamine compounds. The US and European markets are estimated at about the same size (respectively $758m and $800m per year). In value terms, the main 'families' of flame retardants.

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