Amongst many other uses, expandable polystyrene (EPS) can be used as an insulation material within buildings. In order to ensure that the material is safe to use in such an application, legislation requires that EPS designed for building use conforms to certain standards, including a standard for flame resistance.
Synthos currently produces EPS which complies with the building regulations for the markets that it supplies to. As part of the suspension polymerization manufacturing process which Synthos uses, a flame retardant material is added that imparts the necessary properties to the base material.
Although the flame retardant that is currently used meets all of the technical requirements, it contains bromine, which is increasingly seen as harmful to the environment. Synthos is therefore seeking an alternative flame retardant that meets all of the technical requirements but does not contain bromine or any other halogen.
Synthos would also like to identify potential non-halogenated flame retardants that would allow it to offer its users improved environmental performance, either in terms of improved recyclability or reduced environmental impact.
Anticipated Proiect Phases
Phase 1 - Review proposals
- Seek additional information as required to properly evaluate each proposal. (A Non-Disclosure Agreement may be required in order that additional information can be shared, so that a full assessment can be made)
Phase 2 - Test proposed solution
- Tests to be conducted within Synthos' R&D facility
- It is anticipated that the duration of this second phase will very much depend upon the length of time required to prepare a flame retardant material that can be tested in the Synthos EPS suspension process
Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2
Synthos will consider the supplied evidence that the proposed solution could potentially meet their technical requirements and the likelihood that the solution could be cost-effective for a commodity product manufactured in very high volumes.
An assessment will also be made of the potential for using the proposed solution to offer additional environmentally-friendly benefits to users.