On Demand Flame Retardant

On Demand Flame Retardants

The Opportunity

Our customer is a global supplier of construction products, with their product offering ranging from non-flame retardant building products to building products meeting some of the most challenging flammability standards in the world. The customer wanted a flame retardant additive that they could add “on demand” to their manufacturing process which would provide the desired amount of flame retardancy.

The Approach

The ability to select different levels of flame retardancy while minimizing the amount of raw materials in inventory is an ideal situation for using a flame retardant masterbatch. We worked with our customer to optimize the masterbatch to meet the most stringent FR standard at higher loadings, and also meet the less stringent FR standards at lower loading.

The Outcome

The customer can meet the required flammability standards by adjusting the loading level of flame retardant masterbatch provided by PMC Polymer Products. Use of this FR masterbatch allows the customer to switch “on-demand” between non-flame retardant products and flame retardant products, while minimizing raw material inventory and overall raw material cost.
Compound Stability

Compound Stability

The Opportunity

The customer was experienced and knowledgeable with injection molding unfilled PP (polypropylene) resins, but they were expanding into a new market with a new product and needed formulation assistance. The customer’s preference was to continue using PP for the cost performance of the material, but PP by itself did not provide the product stiffness that was required by the application.

The Approach

Our overall approach was to add filler to stiffen the product with the goal of simultaneously not sacrificing other properties, especially impact strength. We started with a PP resin like what was currently in use by the customer and then did a filler screening study by adding different fillers at a range of loading levels. Looking at physical properties, the loss of Izod impact strength that accompanied the inclusion of filler was not acceptable, so we modified the compound by adding some elastomeric resin to the PP and filler.

The Outcome

By modifying the resin system and adding filler, we were able to create a PP based compound that met all the customer’s physical property requirements for their new product. The compound was as easy to mold as unfilled PP resin, so the manufacturing did not experience any loss in efficiencies with the new compound and the product ultimately had a successful launch.
Eco Friendly Insulation

Eco-Friendlier Insulation

The Opportunity

Flame retardants are used in a variety of plastic applications to improve fire safety, but a changing regulatory environment and product stewardship are prompting the industry to introduce new, more environmentally friendly, flame retardant chemistries. Specifically, the flame retardant industry has shifted away from ``Deca-BDE`` (Decabromodiphenyl ether) and HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) flame retardant products to greener alternatives. HBCD has been the standard flame retardant for polystyrene foam because it is highly effective in that application, but now polymeric flame retardant chemistries are available for polystyrene as a “greener” flame retardant replacement.

The Approach

Polymeric FR is effective in reducing the flammability of polystyrene, but XPS (extruded polystyrene) foam insulation manufacturing requires that the polymeric flame retardant is compounded into a stabilized masterbatch to improve thermal stability during processing. The R&D group at PMC Polymer Products worked in conjunction with our suppliers and customers to design a flame retardant masterbatch product optimized for delivering flame retardant into XPS insulation. This was a difficult technical challenge as the new masterbatch formulation had to maintain insulating properties, meet flammability standards, and process easily for the foam manufacturers. We worked with our customers and supported their extensive qualifications to ensure that critical product properties and processing were not compromised with the change to polymeric flame retardant chemistry.

The Outcome

Our new flame retardant masterbatch was essentially a “drop-in” replacement for our customer’s extrusion operations, making for an easy transition for plastic processors. Their XPS foam insulation product is now a commercial product. The benefit are widespread, from homeowners to commercial buildings as the insulation is more environmentally friendly while still providing good insulating properties and fire resistance all at an economical cost.

Looking for an ``greener`` way? Contact us today to customize a product for you!

Matrix of Mold-Ability

The Opportunity

A customer approached PMC Polymer Products regarding IR HIPS compound for a large injection molded part. This part design was difficult to mold due to its complex design and required a consistent color to be acceptable in the application. This customer had unacceptable splay that resulted in a high reject rate, and the molder's attempts at optimizing molding conditions were not enough to improve yield to a satisfactory level, resulting in wasted money in scrap material and lost time on a fully-scheduled injection molding line.

The Approach

PMC Polymer Products visited the customer to observe the issues first-hand and better understand their manufacturing process. PMC offered molding recommendations to optimize further molding, but the reject rate was still too high for the customer.
PMC immediately began work looking for a solution through reformulating the compound. A designed lab experiment of different base resins and additives resulted in formulations that provided a matrix of varying compound mold-ability and part properties. The best formulation was identified based on the customer's cost performance criteria.
PMC Polymer Products then produced a production-scale sample of 1000 lbs for a full-scale molding evaluation at the customer.

The Outcome

The molding trial was successful, and the customer eventually switched to the new formulation to mold parts meeting the performance and quality standards they required. Not only did the new formulation result in parts with improved appearance, but the net cost per part was lower with the decrease in scrap rate.

Looking to lower your costs and your waste? Contact us to develop custom solution for you application.