Information about Non-Halogen Flame Retardant
1. Background of its demand.
1-1. Non-halogen plastics as an alternative material to PVC.
Market growing attention to non-halogen flame retardants is connected with the ascending tendency to change a plastic material from PVC to an alternative plastic, for example to Polyolefin and Polypropylene.
The reasons why market will replace PVC with an alternative plastics are following,
(1).About 70% of PVC is chlorine and it may occur Dioxin by its incineration.
(2).DEPH, which is widely used as a plasticiser for PVC, is regarded as a environmental contaminants and substances which are harmful to human health. It is reported DEPH is an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC).
(3).At the waste deposit, from PVC containing substances are leaching out and its causes a long term emission of soil.
(4).Although there is a argument that under severe incineration control of PVC, the generation of Dioxin can be prevented. But the residue after incineration is much more voluminously than before. It means, PVC shortens a lifetime of a waste deposit facility.
(5).To recycle as the thermal energy, PVC can be burned in the blase furnace and cement kiln, but before PVC put into its burning process, hydrogen chloride must be removed, because hydrogen chloride gas may give a damage to the brick at the furnace wall. This process costs very high and the user of this by-product must be found out.
1-2. The problem of halogenated additives.
To similar to the problem, what is mentioned before, some halogenated flame retardants (brominated flame retardants) has the same problem, which is harmful to human health and furthermore, brominated flame retardant is supposed to create a brominated Dioxin by the fire.
And by the fire some brominated flame retardants generate a toxic gas and a corrosion gas, which can cause to the electronic equipment a fatal result, and can oppose a rapid escape action by emergency.
1-3. Conventional flame retardant and its problematics.
The commonly used flame retardants for plastics are brominated flame retardants, Antimon dioxide und Phosphoric flame retardants. But these flame retardants can generate also toxic and corrosive gas by the fire.
As an alternative materials for PVC , non-halogen plastics, for example, Polypropylene and Polyethylene, have a weak point, that they can easy catch a fire to compare with a PVC, which is intrinsic hardly inflammable.
To amend this materialistic behavior, as
non-halogenated flame retardant, magnesium
hydroxide comes to a place. Magnesium Hydroxide
is a environmentally friendly and according
to some official documentations no hazard
to human health is reported.
2. Non-halogen flame retardant
It is widely known that aluminum hydroxide is the most used non-halogen flame retardant. But aluminum hydroxide can be not used for polypropylene and ethylene-vinyl acetate etc, because the decomposition of aluminum hydroxide starts at about 200 deg. By a temperature of over 200 deg. , it means aluminum hydroxide begins to decompose, during the production of plastics, such as thermo-plastic like polypropylene, which has higher processing temperature than 200 deg. For the polyolefin plastic magnesium hydroxide, that has the decomposition temperature of over 330 deg., is the right choice.
This is why, that the magnesium hydroxide
is the best flame retardant for the alternative
plastic in stead of PVC.
3. The market of magnesium hydroxide
There are two types of magnesium hydroxide in the market.
Type 1. :From sea-water synthetic produced.
Type 2. :From natural mineral produced.
Type 1 is most conventionally used as flame retardant for polyolefin.
4.The estimated demand of magnesium hydroxide as a flame retardant.
4-1. The reason, why the type 2. could not be recognized by the flame retardant market, are following,
(1). The diameter of the type 2. was too much bigger than type 1 and its particle distribution can not be enough controlled.
(2). In the market, because Type 1. was already dominated, a compounding technology for a polyolefin plastics has been developed on the assumption of using Type 1. At that time the judgment of flame retardant has been carried out, whether the tested flame retardant could alternate with Type 1 under the Type 1 compounding technology.
(3). From the commercial view point, it was much easier and more profitable for a compounding maker to use a expensive material Type 1, because they could sell their consumers higher value added products. At that time the end products, which was produced with highly qualified materials, have been only for a special products, such as a special cables for the fire protection systems. The market has been forced to accept its high cost.
(4). The problem of gDioxinh was not pointed out . That was why the market could use PVC and halogenated flame retardant without any kind of concern. And the problems of environmental contaminants and substances which are harmful to health were not recognized too. That was why the PVC with toxic additives could be used widely.
4-2. Non-halogenization of the market.
In the world scale the tendency to change the industry materials from halogen to non-halogen can not be stopped.
(1). The Ministry of Construction has announced the notice at Nov. 1998, that the installation of electrical cable in the governmental building must be manufactured EM-material. EM means Ecological-Material and a use of non-halogenated material. PVC and halogenated flame retardants are prohibited.
(2). At Apr. 1999 the Ministry of Education has announced the same notice as (1)
(3). One of the biggest Japanese car makers announced their company policy they will try to reject PVC-product for their cars beyond the year of 2003.
(4). One of the biggest Japanese consumer electric companies announced their company policy they will try to reject PVC-product for their cars beyond the year of 2005.
(5). Danish government examines to introduce PVC-tax system.
Thus with a steady increasing of ant-PVC movements, because of the problem of gDioxinh and gEDC (an Endocrine Disrupting Chemical)h, the market are interesting in the alternative materials, namely, non-halogen materials.
As the non-halogen materials, a newly improved polycarbonate material has come to the market. But polycarbonate contains a hazardous component, Bisphenol A, which is suspected as EDC substance.. Although the phosphoric flame retardants is belong to the group of the non-halogen flame retardants, phosphoric flame retardants release a toxic gas by the fire. According to Swedish institution a TPP (Tetraphenylporphine), which is widely used by the production of Personal Computer hausing and is believed one of the hazardous substance to the human health, can be released by a normal use on the desk.
According to a documentation of Danish Environment Agency, magnesium Hydroxide is a environmentally friendly and no hazard to human health.
5. Estimated potential demand of magnesium hydroxide flame retardant.
For example: Here can be calculated about a cable, which sector is widely PVC used. In domestic production of PVC can be estimated about yearly 2 million t. For the use of sheath materials for cable is about 11% of total shipment. It means yearly about 220,000t PVC are used for the cable market. If the half of PVC (110,000t PVC) will be change to the alternative materials, such as polyethylene, EVA and EEA, ca 60,000t/yaer of non-halogen flame retardants must be consumed.
When the other markets, besides a cable market, will begin to change their material from PVC to the non-halogen material, which means mainly polyolefin materials, it is expected that the demand of magnesium hydroxide will be increasing rapidly.
"MAGLUX" is a high cost-performance non-halogen flame retardant. Although monthly product capacity is about 300 MT, we can expand its production capacity up to 1,500 MT in the future. "MAGLUX" is surface treated by original developed Know-How. To match a products of our customers, some different surfactant can be used, such as Stearic Acid. Main users of "MAGLUX" are electric cable makers and sheet (upholstry) makers.
Anti-PVC movement is already a fixed trend in Europe. And this environmentalism will be stronger the day after day and manufactures in industrial countries are force to product eco-friendly goods.
For the alternative material polyolefin plastic is spotlighted and we believe that "MAGLUX" will get more widely applications in near future.
Shinko Kogyo Co., Ltd.
R/D Div. Hiroshi Komatsu
Tel.03-3371-2161, Fax. 03-3371-2165