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Halogen-free flame retardants & smoke suppressants

Fire retardants
Touching lives, enhancing safety

Huber Advanced Materials offers a very broad portfolio of premium-quality halogen-free fire retardants and smoke suppressants to meet the most stringent fire safety requirements. 

Learn more about halogen-free flame retardants and smoke suppression

What are halogen-free flame retardants?

Flame retardants are chemical compounds that prevent ignition and/or retard burning in polymers. They are added to plastics during the manufacturing process. By inhibiting fire outbreak and propagation, flame retardants help save lives.

There are two general categories of flame retardant used in plastics: halogen-based and halogen-free. While halogen-based flame retardants are very effective at preventing smoke and flame, evidence suggests that halogen-free flame retardants are safer for people and the environment.

Metal hydroxides are the largest volume halogen-free flame retardants used worldwide. The two most widely used are aluminum hydroxide, also known as alumina trihydrate (ATH) or by its chemical composition, AI(OH)3, and magnesium hydroxide, known as MDH or by its chemical composition Mg(OH)2. When exposed to heat, they decompose to form aluminum or magnesium oxide and release water molecules in an endothermic reaction. This results in reduced flame spread and smoke generation. Only non-toxic and non-corrosive decomposition product is formed during these processes.

Halogen-free flame retardants such as ATH and MDH also offer a host of additional benefits. They are non-corrosive, inert, non-volatile and economical, all while reducing smoke density and providing environmentally friendly fire retardation. Because they are cost-effective and less harmful to the environment, they are rapidly replacing halogen-based flame retardants.

Our solutions for halogen-free flame retardants and smoke suppression

Huber Advanced Materials is an expert in the development of halogen-free flame retardants. 

We have over 40 years of experience producing consistently high-quality, halogen-free fire retardant additives for the plastics industry, providing both aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide on multiple continents. We also produce Kemgard® molybdate smoke suppressants and Safire® nitrogen-phosphate fire retardant technology.

Huber Advanced Materials offers premium and technical magnesium hydroxide (MDH) for highly demanding applications, premium fine precipitated hydrate (FPH) for maximum compounding throughput and long product technical life, and ground, low-viscosity aluminum trihydrate (ATH) for high extrusion speed. Our Kemgard® molybdate-based smoke suppressants also provide a safe, sustainable and efficient solution for replacing antimony trioxide (ATO) and ammonium octamolybdate (AOM).

We stand at the forefront of halogen-free flame retardant and smoke suppressant additive product innovation, and our technical and service support is second to none in the industry. A unique consultative selling process is utilized so our customers get products customized specific for their applications.

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Halogen-free flame retardant applications

Adhesives, caulks and sealants

Some adhesives, caulks and sealants used for automotive and building material applications are required to meet certain criteria for flame retardance. Alumina trihydrate (ATH) can be used in place of other minerals to achieve the desired properties in flame retardant applications. Hymod® and Martinal® treated ATH products are specifically recommended for silicone or moisture-cure urethane sealants.

Carpet

Coarse alumina trihydrate (ATH) is the standard flame retardant for commercial and industrial carpet applications that meet UL/ANSI fire test standards. Because ATH is used at very high loading levels in carpet backing, any variability will have a negative impact on viscosity. Huber Advanced Materials uses statistical quality control techniques to ensure consistent performance in flame retardant applications.

Coatings/paper

Alumina trihydrate (ATH) is often associated with its role as a halogen-free flame retardant and smoke suppressant, and for good reason, as ATH is the largest-selling fire retardant additive worldwide. ATH is also an extremely functional and versatile pigment and useful in a number of coatings applications. Because ATH is an inert functional pigment available in a wide array of particle size distributions, it offers a number of key features and benefits in flame retardant applications.

Roofing

Huber Advanced Materials’ surface-modified alumina trihydrate (ATH) and magnesium hydroxide (MDH) products provide outstanding physical properties, water-resistance, fast dispersion and flame retardant performance for membranes used in fire retardant roofing applications. In addition, SB-432 has been the product of choice for use in fire retardant applications for roofing for over 25 years. Substituting some or all of the calcium carbonate with ATH improves the flame retardance of the coating to meet ASTM standards.

Rubber

For fire retardant rubber, Huber Advanced Materials offers an array of halogen-free flame retardant and smoke suppressant additives. We assist in developing fire retardant compounds for multiple rubber-related applications including wire and cable, silicone rubber, foam insulation, general rubber goods, roofing and mine belting.

Thermoplastics

When it comes to thermoplastics, Huber Advanced Materials has you covered. Our alumina trihydrate (ATH), magnesium hydroxide (MDH) and molybdate flame retardants and smoke suppressants offer high performance in a myriad of applications. We partner with thermoplastic manufacturers to identify and formulate ideal solutions in developing flame retardant thermoplastic composites. Thermoplastics examples and products include wire and cable, aluminum cladding, engineering thermoplastics, piping, flooring, nylon (polyamide), polyolefins, flexible PVC and rigid PVC.

Thermosets

Huber Advanced Materials is the largest supplier of alumina trihydrate (ATH) to the thermoset composites industry for flame retardant applications. To enhance the overall performance capabilities of ATH-filled compounds, Huber Advanced Materials has developed a wide selection of ATH products, which are commonly used in fiberglass reinforced polyester molding and pultrusion for sheet molding compound (SMC) and bulk molding compound (BMC), cast polymer and solid surface, and epoxy.

Wire and cable

Wire and cable applications require flame retardance and low smoke generation. Huber Advanced Materials has a full line of treated alumina trihydrate (ATH), magnesium hydroxide (MDH) and Kemgard® products that impart outstanding flame retardance and smoke suppression in wire and cable compounds. Martinal® and Hydral® fine precipitated hydrates are designed to have high purity and low conductivity. And in jacketing compounds, Micral® ultrafine ground ATH can be an economical alternative to precipitated ATH.