The project DEROCA has demonstrated that industrial multiwall carbon nanotubes NC7000™ are an effective synergist with other common flame retardants additives to produce flame retardant halogen-free multifunctional products.
The project DEROCA which stands for "Development of safe and eco-friendly materials based on CNT-coadditives for commodity polymers" is a collaborative project coordinated by Nanocyl SA and supported by DG RTD of the European Commission.
Halogenated flame retardant additives are commonly used because of their low impact in other material properties and the low loading levels necessary to meet the required flame-retardancy; however, potential side-effects on human health and environment raise concerns about their risk-benefit balance. Their known intrinsic toxicity and stricter chemical regulations are stimulating research for safer alternatives. DEROCA aims to develop one of those alternatives.
The objectives of DEROCA are to:
- Develop and introduce new safer and more eco-friendly FRs through exploiting the synergistic effect of carbon nanotubes (fire retardancy promoter) with phosphorus based FRs and other current or new promising organic or inorganic additives in intumescent or carbon crust formation systems by identification and optimization of the most efficient/cost competitive solutions;
- Develop small scale test methods and numerical models to predict full end product standard scale test results suitable for rapid materials development and screening;
- Assess the safe use and absence of toxicity of the new FR materials in production, use and fire situations;
- Develop products to support industries to (i) switch from halogenated FRs into halogen free products and maintain their market share or to (ii) increase their market share by improving their halogen-free FR materials.
DEROCA will focus on the development of specific FR applications for five final products which represent large volumes of commodity polymers, i.e. wires & cables, insulation foams, HVAC, corrugated pipes and consumer goods.