Cutting-edge efficiency development in non-halogenated flame retardants for printed circuit boards

Two pioneering, low dosage non-halogenated flame retardants for epoxy resins to the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry have been unveiled by Clariant. Cutting-edge Exolit® EP 150 and EP 200, developed specifically for epoxy laminates, set a new benchmark in high-efficiency halogen-free flame retardants for printed circuit boards. The reactive flame retardants are currently available as laboratory product samples. Exolit EP 150 and EP 200 have unmatched high phosphorous contents of 25% and 29% respectively which enables only a low dosage of flame retardant to be used to reach the desired fire protection effect. For example, UL 94 V0 fire ratings can be achieved at a loading of 50% less than with conventional flame retardants. The Exolit EP products are easy to use, showing a broad compatibility with epoxy thermosets. Exolit EP 150 is a low viscosity liquid which makes it suitable as a flame retardant for infiltration processes. While Exolit EP 200 is available in solid form, it will melt at usual processing temperatures to provide the same user benefit. Laminates produced with Exolit EP flame retardant fulfill the mechanical, electric and electronic properties required by IPC test specifications. EP 150 and EP 200 are the latest additions to Clariant’s highly-regarded Exolit non-halogenated range, known for its total resin flame retardant integrity even under harsh conditions and in sophisticated applications. With the non-halogenated laminate market share growing from 2% in 2004 to 13% in 2010, Clariant is expecting a lot of interest from potential customers in the efficiency-boosting Exolit EP grades. It has already begun the up-scaling process for commercial production. “Clariant’s Exolit EP grades meet the market preference for liquid flame retardants. But most importantly they outperform conventional flame retardants in terms of efficiency and, as such, offer exciting potential to printed circuit board manufacturers looking to switch to non-halogenated flame retardants and to be more efficient,” comments Adrian Beard, head of flame retardants marketing, Clariant. “The full-house at our presentation in Taipei reinforces the high level of interest in non-halogenated flame retardants. We are looking forward to sampling the new grades with customers and hearing feedback based on their expertise and requirements.”
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