The 11th European Conference on Fire Retardant Polymers (FRPM07)

The 11th European Conference on Fire Retardant Polymers (FRPM07), 4 to 7 July 2007, took place in Bolton, UK, and was very well attended by about 230 participants.

The different topics were dealt with in 9 plenary and 10 keynote lectures, 18 presentations, 22 panel presentations, and 48 posters from academics and industry, covering the assessment of fire performance, new fire retardant mechanisms and systems, composites, textiles, coating and lamination, environmental, health and safety, as well as testing, and regulations. The conference gave an excellent overview on the status and perspectives of all aspects of fire safety and flame retardant (FR) polymers.

The section assessment of fire performance covered the challenge of interpreting material flammability tests, mechanisms of fire retardancy, cone calorimetry, nanocomposites, intumescence, and new developments in fire safety of aircraft. Panel presentations on nanoscience and synergy closed this session. 

The papers in the new fire retardant mechanisms and systems sessions dealt with migration of nanocomposites and flame retardancy in polymers, analytical methodologies, trends in commercial and halogenfree flame retardants (FR), and the fire behaviour of composites. The session ended with panel presentations on fire retardant systems.

Textiles, coatings and lamination were referred to in presentations on flammability and new textile regulations, intumescent paints, textile flame retardants, and biodegradable polymers.  Here again, panel presentations on these topics closed the session.

The presentations of the last two sections environmental aspects, testing, and regulations gave an overview on the flame retardants risk assessments and REACH, on toxic and environmental hazards from FRs in fires, emissions control of FRs, the European harmonisation and mandates in construction, as well as status and trends in fire safety regulations and testing.

On 3 July 2007, the day before the conference, in a workshop on predicting the fire behaviour of nanocomposites, fire retardant chemists and fire modellers presented the results available so far from the major European project Predfire Nano. The presentations dealt with the effect of nanofillers and FRs on nylon 6, polybutylene terephthalate, polypropylene, and ethylene-vinyl acetate, and showed that predictions into bench scale fire tests like the cone calorimeter may be possible from the intrinsic properties of these polymers found and determined by analytical methodologies. The relevance of these results using the intrinsic polymer properties for modelling cone calorimeter behaviour and ongoing work on the prediction of large scale behaviour were presented in several papers and concluded this very interesting workshop.