The FRT14 Fire Retardant Technologies Conference in Preston, UK

The FRT14 Fire Retardant Technologies Conference organized by the Royal Society of Chemistry took place from 14 to 16 April 2014 at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston, UK. It was followed by a workshop on ‘Flammability Regulation for Upholstered Furniture’ the day after. The 160 participants basically came from academia, industry, associations and institutes.

In session 1, a general overview on the current status and trends for flame retardants, their modes of action and the techniques used to better understand flame retardancy and eventually their role in composites systems gave an excellent insight into this complex topic.  

Under the heading Fire Retardant Technologies, Session 2 focussed on flame retardants acting in the gas and condensed phases. Another topic was the role of fillers, nanocomposites, layer by layer assemblies, of silicagel microencapsulated flame retardants, and finally on the intumescence concept in diverse polymer applications.  

Session 3 dealt with applications of flame retardants systems in various fields such as intumescent coatings for offshore structural steel protection, the use of new nitrogen and phosphorus-containing flame retardants for textiles, flame retardants in engineering plastics, as well as flame retarded cables in building applications.

The last Session 4 covered testing, toxicity and the environment. Here, developments and trends in fire safety regulations and tests gave an overview of the situation in building, transportation and electrical engineering/electronics, as well as for upholstered furniture. The role of flame retardants on smoke development and acute toxicity from fire gases, as well as a paper on environmental concerns regarding certain flame retardants closed the FRT14 Conference.

The workshop on ‘Flammability Regulation for Upholstered Furniture’ focussed on the UK regulations and tests for home furniture flammability and possible future changes, the fire toxicity of upholstered furniture, the influence of ventilation conditions on polyurethane foams combustion products, health and environmental concerns for flame retardants and new strategies for flame retardants in EU regulations, principles of risk assessment and  REACH.    

The FRT14 conference and workshop gave a comprehensive insight into new developments for flame retardants systems, regulations and tests, smoke and toxicity of fire effluents, as well as on health and environmental aspects. The conference details are available under: