Definition of flame retardants:

Flame retardants are applied to materials, such as plastics and textiles, to prevent or slow the spread of fire. They can be incorporated into the fiber, impregnated into the substrate or coated to the substrate in various ways.

What are flame retardants?

Scientists have developed many different chemicals designed to prevent consumer and industrial items from catching fire so easily. These are known as flame retardants. They can be applied to many different items, such as furnishings, electrical devices, construction materials, and transportation equipment. 

There are hundreds of types of flame retardants, each with a different chemical structure. Bromine, chlorine, phosphorus, nitrogen, metals, or boron can all be used in their production. Of these, brominated flame retardants are the most common, and are used widely in the consumer goods industry.

Why are flame retardants important?

Research suggests that fire kills over 5,000 people a year in Europe. It also has huge economic impacts on the communities it affects. Limiting fire’s ability to damage lives and property is therefore a priority.

In addition to preventing fires, flame retardants are effective at limiting their spread. Researchers found that coating objects with flame-retardant coatings gave people 15 times longer to evacuate a room than otherwise.

What are the challenges associated with flame retardants?

Flame retardants have come under growing scrutiny in recent years.

The EU has banned the use of several types of flame retardant chemicals, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs). Maintaining effective flame retardant performance while complying with the various regulations can therefore prove a challenge for manufacturers of products such as furniture. And that’s where Stahl Integra® can help.

What is Stahl Integra® and what can it do?

Stahl Integra® is Stahl’s polymer-driven solution with flame retardant effectiveness. It’s a versatile technology toolbox that offers an advanced range of functionalities while minimizing the need for additives – for high product quality and superior fabric integrity.

Stahl Integra® solution can be customized to suit precise end-market requirements and applications. And specific mechanical functionalities can be added at different stages of the production process to give fabrics a variety of specific qualities, whether they need to be breathable, stay-clean, wash-durable, or a range of other properties.

Building on Stahl’s market-leading EaglebanTM technology, alongside our specialty polymers and crosslinkers, Stahl Integra® products come in water-borne options. The production process is also simpler and lower-impact than methods used to manufacture other flame retardants, reducing the need for additives.

What is the future of flame retardants?

As government regulations around flame retardants grow stricter in many countries, innovative and versatile solutions like Stahl Integra® will become increasingly vital. The modular toolbox principle allows manufacturers to tailor the protection they give their products so they can meet specific safety and environmental requirements.

In the coming years, we will see further reductions in the environmental and health impacts of flame retardants as the industry strives for more responsible and adaptable solutions.

Not done learning yet?

Discover the full Stahl Integra® range.