Understanding flame retardant thermoplastics can be a real challenge when specifying plastic materials on new application components. From determining what flammability tests are required, (UL 94, UL 746A, RTI, ETC), to the type of rating requirement needed based on the application/parts function, design, and thickness, to regulatory requirements, (IE, halogenated VS non-halogenated, REACH and RoHS compliancy, ETC), to processability concerns to avoid plate out, outgassing and surface appearance, ETC. We will also review the UL Yellow Card, a brief description of the ratings, and how to use this information when specifying materials.
Today, more than ever, getting support in material selection based on application requirements, including flammability, has become a challenge for both OEMs/end users and polymer processors. Most resin suppliers no longer provide the extensive depth of technical support they once did and now rely on their distribution partners to offer front-line technical support. In addition, over the years most OEMS/end users and polymer processors had a “materials guy” in the ranks who, through years of experience, provided these material recommendations internally, including the need for flammability requirements. Those “material experts” have retired or are getting ready to retire, leaving a large void that has become very difficult to fill. Support from most resin suppliers on understanding flammability and designing based on flammability requirements is a suggestion to see their “UL Yellow Card,” and no support on material suggestions based on the applications/part function.
This PolySource Webinar, “Flame Retardant Thermoplastics 101,” is developed to help understand flame retardant thermoplastics, including the FR additive technology available, FR rating requirements VS application/part performance, FR testing, and resulting certification.