In order to enhance the effectiveness of flame retardants and reduce their use in polymers, many European countries have recently launched a joint program called Phoenix, using nanotechnology to develop new flame retardants to replace traditional halogen-free flame retardants.
The goal of the Phoenix project is to rely on nanotechnology to reduce the use of polymer flame retardants to 15% on the basis of improved utility. The new flame retardants will be completely prepared with nanoparticles or combined with halogen-free materials. Nanoparticles are mainly extracted from graphene carbon-based materials and modified lignin. The researchers said that compared with traditional halogen-free flame retardants, the new flame retardants not only use less, have higher utility, and are safer to use and cause less pollution to the environment.
The Phoenix cooperation program will be completed under the leadership of the Spanish Plastics Material Research Association and will be coordinated by 15 companies and research institutes in eight European countries. According to the person in charge of the project, although the traditional halogen-free flame retardants are low-smoke and low-toxic when they are thermally decomposed, their flame-retardant effects are not ideal. In order to obtain good flame retardant effect of polymer, a large amount of non-halogen flame retardant must be added, but the high content of non-halogen flame retardant is bound to have a negative impact on the physical properties of the polymer.
Common flame retardants are mainly divided into halogen flame retardants and halogen-free flame retardants. Halogen flame retardants are the earliest type of flame retardants used, but due to the release of toxic gases when decomposed, they are very limited in use.