Developments in flame-retardant composite materials
The demand for flame resistant coated surface materials for commercial use are very high. This applies for use in public buildings such as hotels, recreational facilities, day care facilities for children, restaurants as well as in the field of watercrafts, railway vehicles and aircrafts. To a large extent, composite materials are used here for upholstery of furniture and seats, as wall cladding, banners or partition walls.
When selecting materials for equipping public areas, which is overcrowded, personal protection is of top priority. This particularly applies for the situation involving flame and heat. If such a dangerous situation occurs, the materials must show a high flame resistance, which is high enough that ignition and thus a fire is not very likely.
In case of a fire outbreak, the spread of fire has to be retarded or suppressed as long as possible, in order to give people caught in fire as much time as possible to escape. Furthermore, strong emission of smoke or toxic combustion gases may hinder people fleeing the danger zone. Any material used in these areas is required to be primarily flame-resistant and meeting this requirement is a challenge for the materials or rather for material development.
Successful developments in the area of flame-resistant compound materials:
highly flame-resistant synthetic leather made of silicone
non-inflammable flexible lightweight compound materials
flame-resistant coatings for personal protective equipment