By Howard Bradshaw, Edward C. Gregor and David Black

Clean FR thermoplastic polyolefin pellets are offered, as a compound and/or concentrate for commercial production by extrusion, calendering, lamination or moldings to shape etc.

What does Clean FR mean?

Clean FR technologies have several common characteristics required to meet Dynamic Modifiers, LLC (Atlanta, GA) minimum standard requirements supplied as pellets from one of the few polyolefin compounder and concentrate manufactures globally.  Clean FR is ideally suited for use where people gather or protecting valuable property use and includes all of the following properties:

  • Non-halogenated
  • Non-bio accumulative in lungs 
  • No VOC’s, colorable, UV enhancement, anti-static etc.
  • Sustainable (think ease of processing, if recycled)
  • Light-weight, approximately 1.0 specific gravity
  • Extremely low smoke when exposed to flame (test report available)
  • Tailored pellets to customer’s needs and industry specifications
  • Highly oil, chemical. Solvent and water repellent
  • Affordable to the end-user or brand-owner
  • Consider safety when customers order one of the three materials.

What is available NOW and falls within the Clean FR umbrella name?  

All three bolded materials below qualify as Clean FR and are functionally different. Each is commercial while other specialty technologies are currently in development, and expected to follow. PAL...VersaCHAR FR™, PAL...HH-LS Performance FR™, and PAL...HydroCHAR FR™. All have reasonable pricing and are adaptable to tailored formulations. Separately and according to Wikipedia, “smoke inhalation is the primary cause of death for victims of fires.

The inhalation or exposure to hot gaseous products of combustion can cause serious respiratory complications. Some 50–80% of fire deaths are the result of smoke inhalation injuries, including burns to the respiratory system”. Additionally, continuing flame spread results in even more combustion and generation of additional hot-toxic gases.  Why do you think firemen now wear tight fitting face masks and carry oxygen tanks on their backs when entering many fires, such as buildings or other places where valuable assets are stored.

PAL...VersaCHAR FR 

VersaCHAR for short, is an economical compound and performs more like an engineering polymer, but at a fraction of the cost. VersaCHAR has had its early success when it quickly passed ASTM E84-1/A for use in wall coverings and more recently  the exceptionally difficult to pass and the highest  European classification of EN 13501-1 with an unheard of maximum rating for a thermoplastic with a non-combustible rating A2-s1 d0 rating. This version of VersaCHAR had no (zero) flaming drips and reported extremely weak smoke emissions, as tested by a highly- reputable independent laboratory where other commodity priced thermoplastics, like PVC and  even PTFE fluoropolymers cannot begin to match the extraordinary results with their both their halogenation short-comings and especially heavy toxic off-gassing  in a fire .  Now, VersaCHAR sets a new standard of excellence, as this exceptional thermoplastic compound with a rating of A2-s1-d0 as it is on-par with many heavy and costly ceramics and metals in offering fire protection by way of non-combustible materials.  VersaCHAR has been tested with flame to 1,9550C (3,5500F) highest tested to date, with a butane torch flame.  Even at this high temperature, our technicians experienced anticipated surface charring, which dramatically turned out to meaningfully yield slow-heat transfer to any material positioned behind VersaCHAR.

During  the process of qualifying VersaCHAR as a family member as a Clean FR, we further tested laminations where the compound was laminated between two layers of each a woven carbon fiber fabric and two layers of a woven fiberglass fabric, as a sandwich construction. VersaCHAR acted as the binder adhesive in the middle tested to a Federal Aviation Industry (FAA) test FAR 25-853 Appendix F using as a stationary vertical butane flame test, with an exposed lower laminate edge at 1,9550C for 60 seconds and had no flaming drips, distortion or separation of the laminate, which tells us VersaCHAR is able to withstand most flames as long as the support materials will support up to at least this high temperature. VersaCHAR pellets can be coated on most any substrate as an extraction and calendered ,produced as a film, sheet or laminated as an adhesive between substrate layers or molded to most any shape. 

There are many uses for Clean FR and VersaCHAR from aerospace/aircraft to the preservation of valuable assets, plus more importantly, for safety of where people gather such as in offices, buildings of all sort, such as hospitals educational facilities and  hotels, buses, rail, ships/boats, and similar venues. 

PAL... NH-LS Performance FR

NH-LS (Non-Halogenated Low-Smoke) as we call it for short, is a polyolefin concentrate supplied as pellets.  NH-LS was designed for use as the extrusion of fibers (staple, multifilament or monofilament and will pass NFPA-701, CA-19 and MVSS 302, such as contract fabrics in offices or hospitals, for example.  NH-LS also can be cast-extruded or calendered as a film, sheet or molded to most any shape.  At increased percentages of active ingredients NH-LS tends to char.  Call for recommendations.  NH-LS is also non-bio accumulative and releases no VOC’s into the atmosphere and meets all the other minimum requirements of Clean FR.

PAL...HydroCHAR FR   

HydroCHAR FR is a unique compound based on a thermoplastic polyolefin polymer pellets, offered for special purposes in fires having distinct needs, such uses as (1) locations where flashover fires are apt to occur (2) electrical wire jacketing/covers (3) partitions in offices, restrooms, flexible wall dividers etc. (4) permanent walls and ceilings locations. The material meets NFPA-286 and has all the Clean FR properties and excels in slow-heat release characteristics as determined by a reputable laboratory using full-scale cone-calorimetry testing (test report available upon request).     

Check the risks involved with what your company is currently using to prevent hazardous fires, where people gather or with valuable assets.  All are subject to loss. Ask your product liability insurance company, technical director and/or attorney.

Stay tune for additional future products currently in development.  
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Howard Bradshaw is President and CTO at Dynamic Modifiers LLC, and a specialty chemical polymer developer compounder. Edward C. Gregor, ecg@egregor.com is an independent consultant, who works with clients to bring new disruptive material technologies to market in a variety of industries. Dave Black is a co-founder of Dynamic Modifiers LLC along with Howard Bradshaw and a member of the Board of Directors.