EXPANDABLE GRAPHITE – FLAME RETARDANT WITHOUT HALOGEN
Expandable graphite is a leading mineral-based, halogen-free flame retardant that combines all the requirements for a modern, reliable and also environmentally friendly additive.
Flame retardant is a general term for chemicals and minerals with different properties, mode of action, toxicology, and environmental behaviour.
However, all flame retardant additives pursue the same goal:
- Reduce the flammability of objects and thus delaying the outbreak of fires;
- Reduce the development of smoke and prevent the formation of toxic gases without causing damage to the environment or health.
Expandable graphite reduces flammability and forms a protective intumescent layer.
Today a wide range of different flame retardant additives is available. Some flame retardant additives affect the physical process during a fire, which means they cool down or dilute the burning material. Other additives form a protective layer, thus depriving the fire of fuel, while other additives reduce the flammability of the component.
Expandable graphite combines two modes of action in one additive: the flammability of the component is reduced on the one hand and, on the other, the expandable graphite forms an intumescent protective layer in the event of a fire.
Each sector has its own fire protection classifications and standards that must be met by a component or application. This requires a bespoke custom formulation of the base material, expandable graphite and, where applicable, additional functional additives. Expandable graphite can be used as a sole flame retardant additive or can be combined with other additives, such as ATH or APP, which act as synergists and further optimize the flame retardant effect.
Application examples for expandable graphite as a halogen-free flame retardant
Expandable Graphite has been used successfully in various applications for many years. Expandable graphite has established itself as a halogen-free flame retardant especially in the construction sector and the automotive industry. New application possibilities are always being added. The most common applications are:
Expandable graphite coatings can protect underlying materials such as fabrics or polar fleece, wood or natural fibre panels, steel and other metals in the event of a fire.
Expandable graphite reduces the combustibility of soft foam products, rigid foam sheets and components, and insulation foams.
Expandable graphite can be integrated with classic plastic composites and master batches, or in bitumen, rubber, silicone, epoxy resin and adhesives.