EPDA committed to development of safer flame-retardant plastics / Rising replacement of other materials in construction industry
The European Plastics Distributors Association (EPDA, Salisbury / UK; www.epda.com) says the industry is committed to conducting research into flame retardant plastics, materials and additives, that will help boost safety standards. Plastics are increasingly replacing materials in building and construction projects, and European suppliers are striving to make fire-resistant products, especially for applications where flame spread needs to be limited, such as ventilation ducts and wall claddings.

The integrity of plastics in high-rise residential blocks has been called into question after the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June this year, in which at least 80 people are believed to have died – see Plasteurope.com of 04.07.2017. PIR panelling on the block’s exterior insulation is thought by some to have accelerated the blaze.

Plastics are also contributing to equipment for fighting fires. The EPDA says its member Simona (Kirn / Germany; www.simona.de) is the first manufacturer to make FM-approved (FM Approvals, Norwood, Massachusetts / USA; www.fmapprovals.com) plastic pipes and fittings (up to 630 mm in diameter) for underground water pipe systems, designed for firefighting in buildings.

Low-flammability sheets, rods, pipes and fittings and films made of PVC, polycarbonate and PMMA, among other plastics, are on the market, while fire-safe polymers that are resistant to degradation at high temperatures are being developed to protect items such as window frames. Flame-retardant plastics have also been developed for sectors such as transportation and semi-conductors, which need hard-to-ignite materials that produce very little smoke.

Global demand for flame retardants in construction is forecast to grow 3.2% annually to 803,000 t by 2020 – see Plasteurope.com of 29.03.2017. The five largest markets for flame retardants (construction products, insulated wire and cable, E&E products, motor vehicles and textiles) represented 88% of worldwide flame retardant sales in 2015.
14.11.2017 Plasteurope.com [238354-0]
Published on 14.11.2017

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