Charmor® breakthrough for halogen-free fire resistance in seating foam

Cecilia Svensson
Cecilia Svensson
VP Group Communications & Sustainability
+46 40 635 88 30
Plastic Materials
26 May 2009

Perstorp R&D team has developed a new system using Charmor® intumescent components to protect drivers and passengers in case of fire by improving the fire resistance of commonly used flexible polyurethane foam in vehicular seating.

The latest innovation with Charmor® intumescent components now lets producers incorporate a new halogen-free system for improved fire resistance into the foam commonly employed in vehicular seating found, for example, in airplanes, trains, buses and cars. And in case of fire, the extra time and protection that Charmor® properties deliver can make all the difference. 

The innovation will help reduce and perhaps replace the current most frequently used flame retardant for polyurethane foams, which contains halogenated species that can release problematic emissions in a fire. The Charmor® intumescent properties modify foams that are inherently vulnerable to fires because of their porous nature but do so without the use of halogenated species. 

Originally developed for use in fire protective coatings, Charmor® works by forming a thick char layer when exposed to fire that protects the underlying material by insulating it from heat, cooling the surroundings, slowing down the fire and prolonging time to ignition. 

And in polyurethane foams, since the char layer keeps the fire from getting to the foam material, it also reduces the issue of problematic emissions being released from the foam in the fire. Results of our testing show that polyurethane foam containing 5 pphp intumescent additives displays a significant fire resistant effect.

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