A European Union commissioned study of flame retardants for smartphones, laptops and other electrical and electronics applications has acknowledged the environmental and health benefits of pioneering Exolit® non-halogenated flame retardants from Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals. The technology by Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, which sets new standards in non-halogenated flame retardants offering exceptional ecological, toxicological and performance properties, was featured in the new European Union research project into substitution options for brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Entitled “Life Cycle Assessment of Environmenally Compatible Flame Retardants” (ENFIRO), the three-year viability study involved 12 partners and looked at 15 commercially available, non-halogenated flame retardants of different composition and applications. It found halogen-free flame retardants (HFFRs), such as Exolit OP and Exolit AP based on ammonium polyphosphate, to offer similar fire performance and technical application capabilities as BFRs while producing less smoke and less undesirable components in smoke. In the case of printed circuit boards, HFFRs were as good as or better compared to the reference circuit boards produced using brominated FRs.
The results underline the real possibility for manufacturers to produce sophisticated components that must meet high safety and fire protection requirements without halogenated flame retardants.