Antimicrobial/Flame-Retardant Plastic Material Additives
February 2006
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Two CESA® additive masterbatch products offer significant performance advantages to appliance manufacturers. The CESA-antimicro masterbatches incorporate a silver-based antimicrobial additive said to dramatically slow the growth of bacteria on the surface of plastic components used in domestic and commercial appliances. CESA-flam flame-retardant masterbatches offer an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional halogenated flame retardants.

When CESA antimicrobial additive masterbatches are incorporated into plastic materials during molding or extrusion, they reportedly impede the growth and development of micro-organisms on the surface of these objects. The active ingredient uses a ceramic carrier and releases silver ions, which inhibits the ability of bacteria and fungi to propagate. The inorganic antimicrobial masterbatches are non-toxic, flame-proof, non-corrosive, and designed to have no negative impact on plastics processing. They have heat stability, so they are suitable for use in engineering polymers that are processed at high temperatures. They are said to have a wide spectrum of effectiveness and a long-lasting antimicrobial function on the object surface.

Based on proprietary phosphorous compounds instead of halogens, CESA-flam masterbatches achieve their flame-retardant property through intumescence. When exposed to fire, the flame-retarded thermoplastic material foams and crosslinks, forming a stable char at the surface. This ceramic-like protective layer provides a heat-insulating effect, reduces oxygen access, prevents dripping of molten polymer, and reduces smoke density and toxic emissions. The products are currently available only in North America.

Non-halogen flame retardants are increasingly in demand for the eco-friendly attributes. In addition, when used in engineering polymers, the compounds are said to provide a higher level of flame retardance than their halogenated counterparts. They also exhibit high-temperature stability, ease of processing and good colorability. By using the additives in masterbatch form, processors enjoy the flexibility of being able to make dosing and processing adjustments easily to meet changing part requirements.

The CESA-flam grades have been formulated for polyamides (both neat and glass-filled), polyesters and PET fiber/monofilaments, as well as TPUs. CESA-flam XP 8451/XP 8454 achieve limited oxygen indexes (LOI) in the 28 to 30 range, while XP 8429 and XP 8486 provide flame ratings meeting UL94V-0 standards. Clariant,


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