Halogen-free flame-retardant producer expands capacity

Clariant says environmental and safety awareness has increased demand for its Exolit OP product, which is used in cable sheaths and other electronics applications.

Specialty chemical company Clariant recently announced the opening of a second production unit for its Exolit OP halogen-free flame-retardant product at its Hurth-Knapsack facility near Cologne, Germany. The company says the new facility doubles the capacity for DEPAL (diethyl phosphinic acid aluminum salt)-based flame retardants.

“Exolit OP has proven successful as a halogen-free flame retardant, particularly for engineering thermoplastics” the company said. “Applications include thermosetting resins as well as cable sheaths and insulation made from thermoplastic elastomers.”

Michael Grosskopf, who heads the additives business unit for Clariant, commented, “The environmental and safety awareness of our customers has increased considerably, resulting in growing demand for our non-halogenated flame retardants. Key customers are indicating that their requirements will see further strong increases in the years ahead.”

The company further explained the advantages of its chemical in use: “Plastics containing flame retardants release gases when burning, which cause the material to foam, quickly forming a carbonized non-combustible protective layer. This isolates the as-yet unaffected plastic against heat and keeps away atmospheric oxygen. Part of the flame retardant also acts in the gas phase by preventing chemical reactions in the flames. Both effects ensure that the fire is not fueled further and gradually extinguishes itself. This technology can be used to achieve the highest fire resistance classes for plastics.

“The non-halogenated Exolit products do not contain any of the dangerous substances listed in the RoHS directive,” the company continued. “The flame retardants have barely any negative impact on the properties of the end product and also do not generate corrosive toxic fumes in case of fire, which reduces the risk of fire damage.”

More in Cable