Flame Retardant Polymer Chemistry for Outstanding Protection

Flame retardants refer to a variety of chemical compounds added to otherwise combustible materials to create a layer of flammability protection, providing more time to escape and for first responders to save lives and minimize property damage.


Because the need to reduce the risk of fire is critical for many paper and textile applications, flame retardants are prevalent in products ranging from home furnishings (upholstered furniture, curtains, mattresses, etc.) to transportation (fabric seating, air and liquid filtration, and other components) to building and construction materials (carpeting and walls) and more. Each application has its own inherent flame retardant needs, presenting unique challenges to formulators.


Fire is fueled by three things: heat, oxygen and fuel (combustible materials). If you take away any one of those elements from the “fire triangle,” the fire goes out. Flame retardants work in one of three ways to meet flame retardancy guidelines. They rely on chemical reactions that reduce the flammability of fuels or delay their combustion, or they blanket the oxygen fires need to spread. Fire retardants may also cool the fuel through physical action or endothermic chemical reactions.


Lubrizol’s broad portfolio of flame retardant technologies is ready to meet even the most unique and stringent fire protection needs, without affecting end-use properties:


  • Non-halogenated acrylic FR polymers
  • Flame retardant polyurethane polymers
  • Vinyl and vinylidene chloride (halogenated) polymers
  • FR Additives – brominated and phosphated
  • Fully formulated FR solutions – we can custom formulate to specific requirements and toll produce


Our flame retardant chemistries are supported with a full array of FR testing capabilities, designed to meet specific requirements and assuring formulators of performance. Some of our capabilities include:


  • Horizontal (MVSS 302) burn testing
  • Vertical (NFPA 701) burn testing
  • Upholstery (BS 5852) burn testing
  • French M1B1 burn testing
  • Limiting Oxygen Index
  • Cal TB603 Simulation; UL 94


With over 50 years of experience researching, innovating and testing flame retardant technologies, Lubrizol experts are ready to collaborate with formulators to develop effective solutions. With global sourcing capabilities, we can help solve flame retardant needs anywhere in the world.


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