Flexible, polymer-based materials are applied in fields of everyday life, for instance as flooring or wall cladding in construction engineering, as upholstery and covering materials for furniture or as interior for motor vehicles, ships and aircrafts. The polymers used for the manufacture of the respective materials mainly show a high flammability. For this reason they have to be equipped flame-retardant, in order to meet the high fire protection requirements. In a lot of cases halogen compounds have proven to be efficient flame retardants. However, as in case of a fire they release gases which are harmful to the environment and corrosive, efforts have increased to find alternatives.
In addition to the efficiency of commercially available halogen-free flame retardants in thin, flexible materials, new types of flame-resistant concepts for such materials (e. g. reactive flame retardants) are analysed. As the decomposition and ignition of polymer materials is a complex process influenced by a large number of parameters, different test and analysing procedures are applied for characterisation of the fire behaviour, among others thermoanalytical methods, cone calorimetry, LOI value, horizontal and vertical fire behaviour. This way the combustion process or the flame-resistant effects is described as comprehensively as possible.