Clariant flame retardants are being used in the development of commercially viable, flame retarded thermoplastic composites based on renewable oyster shell fillers.
Research led by the Unité Matériaux et Transformations (UMET) at the University of Lille in France has shown that it is possible to achieve effective flame retardancy for oyster shell reinforced polypropylene (PP) composites using Clariant’s Exolit AP non-halogenated flame retardants. Results indicated a significant increase in the thermal stability of the PP compound with phosphate-based Exolit AP760 added to the high performance compound.
Eurostar Engineering Plastics, developer of the ‘green’ PP compound, has chosen oyster shells as a renewable source of mineral filler. In addition, the Exolit AP flame retardant displays no toxic effects, and is biodegradable, breaking down to naturally occurring phosphate, according to Clariant.
“The project results herald a breakthrough in the feasibility of using bio-based materials in high-end application areas, such as the automotive and building and construction industries, where effective flame retardancy is required,” said Professor Sophie Duquesne, who is leading the research group from Unité Matériaux et Transformations (UMET). “In addition to oyster shells we are also actively researching the viability of achieving flame retardancy when vegetal fillers such as flax are used, to further extend possibilities for more environmentally-friendly materials in demanding environments.”