Flame Retardants in Automotive Plastics 2001-01-0845
Currently, at least 10% by weight of a modern car is plastic, this would is over 100 Kg of plastic in an average mid sized car and is increasing every year. Clearly, the use of plastics in automotive applications is important. These plastics are used for various technical and economic reasons. In the countless engineering decisions made to design and build a car, plastics were chosen because they were the best material for the task.
Also important are the changing laws and requirements. Tougher emission standards mean lower weight, tougher impact requirements mean stronger and more ductile materials. Environmental restrictions limit the material choices of the designer. In addition are the Federal standards for flammability in the U. S. and similar standards in other countries.
This paper will discuss the various flammability regulations required for cars and the types of formulations typically used to meet these requirements for the various plastics used. Also discussed will be the impact various types of flame retardants have on the plastic and where compromises have to be made.