19 Jun Making electrical & electronic equipment safe
The last 20 years have seen a dramatic rise in the amount and variety of electrical and electronic equipment (E&E) in houses, offices and public buildings.
Between 2015 and 2016, the amount of electrical and electronic equipment put on the market increased by 2.9 % from 9.8 million tonnes to 10.1 million tonnes in the EU.
The proliferation of electronic devices such as mobile phones, televisions, computers, tablets or laptops. has been matched by a bustuing in the use of plastics.
While these devices make work, living and commercial spaces much more practical, versatile and comfortable, they simultaneously increase the fire risk as many of these polymers can be highly flammable.
For example, electronic appliances can easily ignite or burn rapidly if they are not adequately protected and compliant with high fire safety standards. Brominated flame retardant technologies, are helping to address the complex challenges posed by the diversity of materials used in electrical and electronic products.
Brominated flame retardants in the production process
Plastics are versatile, diverse, mouldable and lightweight, which is why this material is very popular to use in the production of electrical equipment and electronic appliances.
The high volume of plastics in this kind of equipment poses a fire risk. Most E&E devices contain 1 to 9kg of plastic materials; often used in thin sheets and relatively easy to ignite when in contact with internal and external electrical current and heat sources.
That’s why it is very important to if they are being used anywhere near an electrical current as well as other sources of heat or ignition.
Incorporating brominated flame retardants (BFRs) into polymers components gives flame retardant properties. BFRs can either be added to polymer materials during production or can be reacted with materials such as epoxy used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards.
Ensure fire safety
Consumers have the right to expect products which are efficient, reliable and safe. For that reason the Flame retardant industry has been committed to developed innovative products that meet the most stringent fire safety requirements. National governments are also attentive to the products that may not meet the fire safety requirements. For example, the UK government recently ordered to recall 500,000 tumble dryers due to fire safety concerns.
Thanks to the presence of brominated flame retardants in electronic devices and electrical equipment, the flammability risk is much reduced.
Brominated flame retardants provide the necessary flame retardancy to resist both ignition from the inside, as well as ignition from external sources. Two vital requirements that are essential in preventing fire and ensuring human safety.