CLINTON, TENN. (July 19, 2021) –– As regulators tighten the screws on the use of halogenated flame retardants for health and safety reasons, flexible film producers and other users are increasingly turning their focus to alternative technologies.
The halogen chemistry currently used and the presence of antimony trioxide are the primary causes for concern, prompting the European Union to prohibit, effective this past March 1, the use of halogenated FRs in plastic enclosures and stands of electronic displays. California is taking similar steps, via its Proposition 65 legislation, to ban the use of such additives in the future.
The market has long sought a flame-retardant film that is both non-halogenated and transparent. This has been especially challenging with blown polyethylene films.
Techmer PM, LLC, a Tennessee-based compounder and materials design firm, offers custom non-halogenated FR solutions designed specifically for polyethylene films and extrusion coating. Its products –– called PM116050 and PM117000 –– produce highly transparent film without being halogenated. PM116050 can be used for low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density PE (LLDPE) blown film applications with a maximum processing temperature of 400° F. The PM117000 grade, meanwhile, is targeted for blown film and extrusion coating applications with a maximum processing temperature of 600° F.
“Many users are not aware that one can still achieve a high degree of clarity with non-halogenated flame retardants,” notes Rodney Weaver, Techmer PM’s market manager for flexible packaging and films. “Our halogen-free FR additives for PE films and extrusion coating provide product designers the ability to improve the safety of their products without sacrificing clarity.”
Highly transparent film is likely to be particularly important in certain packaging, agriculture, signage, and building and construction applications. As more restrictive legislation ramps up, Weaver said, more users will find themselves having to transition to nonhalogenated technology. “Let us be perfectly clear –– Techmer PM has a solution right now.”
About Techmer PM
Founded in 1981, Techmer PM LLC is a materials design company that specializes in modifying and fine-tuning the properties of technical polymers. The Clinton, Tenn.-based company thrives on partnering and collaborating with plastics processors, fabricators, designers, specifiers, and brand owners. Drawing on a broad portfolio of resins –– from polyolefins to PEEK –– Techmer PM helps manufacturers enhance product function and appearance in scores of end-use markets. The award-winning firm operates six North American plants and has extensive expertise in virtually every plastic- and fiber-related process, from additive manufacturing and blown film to nonwovens, injection molding, and sheet extrusion. Techmer PM has been recognized by Plastics News as one of the industry’s “Best Places to Work” for six of the past eight years. www.techmerpm.com