FRX Polymers’ Nofia® Flame Retardants Obtain Accreditation From Oeko-Tex® Association
Several Nofia flame retardant grades from FRX Polymers Inc. — a producer of polymeric, halogen-free flame retardant solutions — have earned accreditation by the Oeko-Tex Association, an international association of independent research and testing institutes focused on enhancing both product safety and sustainable production in the textile industry.
FRX Polymers’ Nofia OL1001, OL3001, OL5000, OL9000, and HM1100 have been added to the Oeko-Tex list of approved flame retardants. This list contains active chemical products which have been inspected by independent toxicologists and assessed as harmless to human health when used as indicated and intended. FR additives that are used in fabrics or in coatings that are applied to fabrics require Oeko-Tex approval (white list) to be compliant in many end-use applications.
“The accreditation of Nofia flame retardants on the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 list is another global achievement that recognizes the material’s high performance and sustainability advantages for the plastics industry,” said Dr. Jan-Pleun Lens, Vice President, Research and Applications, for FRX Polymers.
The chemistry to produce Nofia materials offers the possibility to tailor these phosphor-based products to a wide range of compositions and molecular weights. By varying the process reaction conditions (time, temperature, pressure, and catalyst), either oligomers or polymers of high MW can be produced.
Nofia HM1100 is supplied as a transparent pellet and can be added directly to the extruder when spinning polyester fibers or to molten PET between the PET plant and fiber spinning plant. Secondary processes like dip coating, used with traditional FR additives, are no longer required. As a result, inherently flame retardant staple, mono-filament, texturized, and fully drawn yarns and bulk continuous filaments can be produced. Nofia phosphonates are already widely used in fiber applications including flame retardant technical textiles, carpets, wire and cable braiding, and wigs and hair extensions.
Adding the polyphosphonate component separately to the polyester has further advantages, according to Dr. Lens. The phosphor content in the fibers can be varied from the traditional 6,000 ppm up to 25,000 ppm, so applications with relatively strenuous FR specifications can be targeted. A range of polyester sources including recycled PET can be used to produce environmentally and economically favorable FR polyester fibers.
FRX Polymers is the developer and producer of halogen-free, non-migrating FR materials of low concern to human health and the environment, under the brand name Nofia. The company is currently in the high growth phase of commercializing its unique family of polyphosphonate homopolymers, copolymers, and oligomers. These halogen-free flame retardants are tough and transparent, and possess high melt flow. In addition to their use in fibers and textile applications, Nofia phosphonates are being sold as polymeric flame retardant additives, flame retardant engineering plastics, and as reactive flame retardant additives for thermosetting resins in consumer electronics, building and construction, and transportation markets.
Nofia phosphonates are produced using sustainable green chemistry principles such as a solvent-free production process, no waste by-products, and near 100% atom efficiency. FRX Polymers’ portfolio includes an extensive and growing patent estate. To date, the company has nearly 200 patent applications, of which 99 applications have been granted. The company has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the EPA’s Environmental Merit Award, the Belgium Business Award for the Environment, and the Flanders Investment of the Year Award. FRX Polymers was recognized three times on the Global Cleantech 100 list, and has been a three-time Frost and Sullivan Award winner for Innovation and Customer Value Leadership