Partly in response to the new US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC’s) flammability
standard for foam mattresses and the upcoming CPSC standard for upholstered furniture, Techmer PM
— a Clinton, Tenn.-based manufacturer of custom colors and additives for fibers and plastics —
has developed three non-halogenated flame retardants (FRs) compatible with polyester and nylon
fibers. PBM13396 is also designed for use in polyester (PET) films and moldings; PNM13319 is suited
for injection molding and profile extrusion applications; and PNM13649 is for nylon fibers and
film. In addition, PNM13319 and PNM13649 feature nanoclay additive. A fourth new flame retardant,
PBM12635, which is halogenated, is suitable for use in PET films and moldings.
“The CPSC standards are going to prompt many mattress and furniture makers — and probably
automotive OEMS too — to seek greater fire protection from fabric coverings instead of new foam
additives, and that will mean more demand for FR fibers,” said Ebrahim Mor, vice president of
technology, Techmer PM.
The polyester-based concentrates all feature the same proprietary flame retardant, which
enables finished products to pass UL-94 V-0 tests at 18-percent loading. This active ingredient
will reduce the melting-point and glass transition temperatures of the host PET, PBT or PTT resin,
the amount dependent on the loading. “In general, for every 5 percent of FR loading, the processing
temperature — a maximum of 285°C — should be decreased by 3 to 5°C,” Mor said.
In tests performed under the federal MVSS 302 specification for fabrics used in cars, trucks,
buses and other motor vehicles, fabrics protected with PBM13396 and PBM12635 “sailed through at a
10-percent letdown ratio in the fibers,” according to Mor. Both products also satisfied the
National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 701 standard for fabrics at an 18-percent letdown.
June 23, 2009