Flame retardant foams with UltraCarb

Our customers use either UltraCarb or FireCarb in the manufacture of foams as a flame retardant filler or intumescent additive.

Flame retardant foams

Flexible elastomeric foams (FEFs)

The industry widely uses flexible elastomeric foams (FEFs) for thermal and acoustic insulation in air-conditioning and heating installations. Flame retardant foams are more or less solely based on two different rubbers:

NBR and NBR/PVC-based FEFs are the most widespread polymers for standard FEF’s while companies use EPDM mainly for applications requiring higher temperature resistance, e.g., solar applications.

PVC resins are blended with NBR to increase ozone and abrasion resistance. Also, PVC has the effect of increasing the level of fire retardancy, and you can further improve this by the addition of flame retardant fillers.

Flame retardant foams

Selecting the correct Flame Retardant(FR) filler

The flame retardant fillers must be sufficiently fine enough to maintain a good foam structure. At the same time, the filler should have a relatively high surface area per gram because this benefits the bubble structure inside the foam.LKAB Minerals’ UltraCarb LH15 C and UltraCarb 1251 meet these criteria perfectly.

Polyurethane (PU) Foams

Applications such as automotive and furniture use polyurethane (PU) foams. When PU foams need to have fire resistance properties, you can add expandable graphite into the isocyanates + polyol mix. As a result, this will give intumescent properties to the foam.

In case of a fire or when heated above a certain temperature, expandable graphite will expand and create a protective carbonaceous char that effectively insulates the rest of the foam from the heat source.

LKAB Minerals can supply various grades of FireCarb (expandable graphite) with different expansion rates, particle sizes, and onset T of expansion.

For detailed information on flame retardant foams, UltraCarb product gradesFireCarb, or other technical support regarding our industrial minerals, please get in touch with us by phone or email.