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How Flame Retardant Work In Plastics

How Flame Retardant Work In Plastics

Each year, billions of pounds of flame retardant additives are widely used throughout the world.

The mechanisms by which flame retardants act are complex, and can be quite specific to the nature of the material they are protecting.


During combustion, flame retardant additives react with the burning polymer in the vapor phase disrupting, at a molecular level, the production of free radicals and shuts down the combustion process. This mechanism is commonly used with halogenated flame retardant systems.


Hydrated minerals make up a class of halogen-free flame retardant systems commonly used for extruded applications like wire and cable. These systems use an endothermic reaction in the presence of fire to release water molecules that cool the polymer and dilute the combustion process.