The 12th European Meeting on Fire Retardant Polymers (FRPM’09), 31 August to 3 September 2009, took place in Poznan, Poland, and counted 160 participants

The conference gave a broad overview on the international activities and new developments in flame retarding polymers, coatings, and textiles. It was dominated by academics coming from Europe, the USA, Asia and other countries.

There were 9 sessions dealing with nanocomposites and synergy, mechanisms of flame    retardants, flame retardant polymers and textiles, new materials and their flammability as well as technical applications and environmental aspects and toxicity. The different topics were dealt with in 12 plenary lectures, 44 presentations, 17 panel presentations, and 28 one minute presentations introducing the displayed posters from academics and industry.

Many papers showed progresses in using nanoclays in various polymer systems. The main impact of nanoclays is in the reduction of the rate of heat release by forming strong charred layers. However, they only provide improved flame retardancy in conjunction with classical flame retardants, particularly with metal hydroxides (aluminium and magnesium hydroxides). In some cases, synergistic effects also take place when using phosphorous flame retardants.

Flame retardant mechanisms were covered in several papers, particularly for phosphorous flame retardants acting in the gas and condensed phase. It was interesting to note that nitrogen compounds based on hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS) show flame retardancy when used as such, but particularly in conjunction with flame retardants, where they are synergistically active. A series of new synthesized phosphorous compounds - many of them based on 9, 10-Dihydro-9-Oxa-10-Phosphaphenanthrene-10-Oxide (DOPO) - was presented with use in various applications such as printed wiring boards based on epoxies, and polyester textile fibres.

Good overviews were given on the status and future of flame retardant textiles including the use of specific flame retardant systems.

Environmental aspects and toxicity were discussed in several papers starting with new      approaches in toxicity requirements and testing for materials and components used in building and transportation (trains, ships, aircraft), followed by a discussion of the hazards of smoke emission toxicity from fire retarded materials. A paper on the emissions of brominated flame retardants in the environment at different production and processing steps in plastics and ways to reduce it closed this session.

The conference closed with presentations on fire retardant materials and technical               applications.

The FRPM'09 gave an excellent picture of the mostly academic research and development activities regarding flame retardant systems, flame retardancy and synergistic mechanisms, as well as new findings and applications in polymers, textiles and coatings. The conference programme is available under: