The Tecnalia technology corporation, along with a group of Basque SMEs, are developing new types of fire-resistant nanomaterials for the construction and electricity sectors which incorporate new fire retardant systems which are halogen free and more environmentally friendly.
Construction companies have substituted traditional materials like stone or wood with plastic materials which provide less weight, more isolation and durability but are also more inflammable. When a fire occurs, the greater part of the damages is caused by the toxicity of the smoke and the difficulty in evacuation caused by the reduced visibility from the combustion of polymer materials.
Given the environmental problems and the toxicity of smoke, over the last few years the European Union has restricted the use of halogen materials which are normally used in construction by means of several directives.
To respond to this need, Tecnalia develops new polymers to substitute halogen materials within the Nanofrabs European project, a consortium in which European companies like Masterbatch, Prolabin & Tefarm, Technika Plastika and Instituto Politécnico de Turín, and a group of Basque SMEs participate.
The objective of the research is to achieve a fire-resistant compound, free of halogens, which has the same behaviour to fire as the additive compound with halogen retardants without losing its mechanical properties.