Plastic applications such as indoor elements of vehicles or aircrafts require flame retardancy to improve survivability. Emission of smoke or toxic gases should be also suppressed, making undesirable the use of some of the most efficient flame retardants, brominated compounds, which are even the object of European bans. Flame-retarded polypropylenes are highly sought due to the outstanding characteristics of PP, the fastest growing commodity plastic. The most promising flame retardant for polypropylene is magnesium hydroxide (MH), stable at PP processing temperatures and leading to harmless combustion products. Unfortunately, MH must be used in large amounts leading to a loss of processability and mechanical properties. The aim of Flaretpol is to achieve MH /PP composites with flame retarding behaviour, but much improved regarding processability and mechanical properties. Target properties for MH/PP will be V0 (UL94), stress at failure>16 MPa, strain>5%, E=1000 MPa, Impact>22.5 J/m, and success will be demonstrated by production of cables, profiles and car details. Sophisticated MH surface engineering techniques will be used, including direct coupling to the MH of tailor-made reactive peroxide oligomers (route 1), creation of a nano-sized tailored pol ymer layer around the MH (route 2) and combination of MH treated by routes 1 and 2 with treated nano-clay (route 3). The most relevant milestones include success in the filler treatment at laboratory level, successful industrial upscaling, production of c ables, profiles and car details fulfilling specifications and demonstration of economic and environmental feasibility of the products and processes developed. The proponent consortium comprises 7 industries, 4 research organisations and 1 University from 7 European countries which cover all complementary aspects of production of MH/PP composites. Potential direct benefits include a revenue of 11 million Euros/year for the industrial partners.
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
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