Facts on Flame Retardants
- Global consumption in 2012: 3.9 billion pounds (lbs). With consumption expected to increase to 5.2 billion lbs by 2018 for a compound annual growth rate of 5% for the next five years. (BCC Research)
- Government regulations, with a major push from FR manufacturers, drive the markets for flame retardants. Insurance companies also exert pressure by increasing payment rates in unprotected environments. (IHS Chemical).
- The plastics industry is by far and away the largest consumer of FRs. Smaller volumes are also sold to the textile, adhesives, elastomer, paint and paper industries. (IHS Chemical)
- The major end uses of FRs are:
- “Electrical and electronic applications (cabinets and housings for television sets as well as components such as connectors, printed circuit boards, and wire and cable insulation).
- Construction materials (thermal insulating materials [foams], mattresses, furniture cushioning, chip boards, laminates, paints).
- Transportation components (polymer parts of airplanes, trains, subways, buses), which must meet flammability standards. Flame retardants are especially important in seating materials.
- Fabrics and apparel; carpets and draperies as well as children's sleepwear are finished with flame retardant chemicals.
- Other applications—adhesives, paper and pulp products, upholstery.” (IHS Chemical)
- “The most important organic flame retardants are halogenated (brominated or chlorinated) compounds and phosphate esters. The major inorganic products are aluminum hydroxide (alumina trihydrate), antimony oxides and borates. Other inorganic compounds used as flame retardants include molybdenum compounds, magnesium hydroxide, ammonium polyphosphate and red phosphorus.” (IHS Chemical)