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Hyperbranched Polymers: New Ways for FR Compounds

SpecialChem / Oct 11, 2010

In the US alone, it is estimated that there are approximately 400,000 residential fires each year killing about 4,000 people, injuring another 20,000 people, and resulting in property losses, totalling about $4.5 billion. Across Europe, fires kill 5000 people. Freedonia Group is forecasting a fire-retardant market of 2.2 million tonnes in 2011 for €3.2bn with an annual growth nearing 5%. Fire-retardant additives represent about one% of plastics consumption.

Hyperbranched polymers and dendrimers markets are developing, involving companies as diversified as DSM marketing ‘Hybrane’ and ‘Astramol’; Polymer Factory; Perstorp marketing Boltorn® products; MMI (Michigan Molecular Institute); Suzhou HyPerT Resin Science &Technology proposing HyPer E50 epoxy resin series…

Environmental, health and technical concerns, REACH, RoHS, WEEE, regulations concerning specific applications such as food contact, automobile and transports, building and so on; and voluntary bans decided by trade associations or by companies reduce the suitable fire retardant formulations and force the plastics industry to continuously search new ways to improve the fire retardancy.

Among other routes, a synergistic combination of fire-retardant features and specific properties of hyperbranched polymers (HBP) is a developing and promising way.

This reasoning leads to two paths: on the one hand the synthesis and fabrication of fire retardant HBPs or dendrimers used as FR additives or FR matrices and, on the other hand the use of HBP or dendrimers as processing aids allowing to increase the used amount of magnesium hydroxide or other hydrated metal oxides in HFFR formulations to improve LOI and other fire characteristics.

FR HBPs and dendrimers are as varied as Polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (POSS), hyperbranched polyethers eventually brominated, hyperbranched polyphosphate ester (HPPE), hyperbranched polyphosphate acrylate/tri(acryloyloxyethyl) phosphate as an intumescent flame-retardant system, hyperbranched aromatic polyamides, s-triazine containing hyperbranched polyamines (HBPA), epoxy resins based on heat-resistant aromatic polyester hyperbranched polymer, Phosphorylated hyperbranched PAMAM grafted silica for flame-retardant treatment for cotton fabric…

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