A material or additive that does not support combustion. Flame retardants are often added to susceptible materials, such as textiles, plastics, paints, or wood to slow or inhibit the spread of fire. Types of fire retardant chemicals (FRC) are usually classified in four categories:
- Minerals: clays, Sodium bicarbonate, Sodium chloride, Ammonium sulfate, Aluminum hydroxide, aluminum trioxide, Magnesium hydroxide, red phosphorous, and Boron compounds (Borax, Boric acid, Sodium borate).
- Organohalogens: organochlorines, chlorinated paraffins, brominated polymers, etc. Most halogenated flame retardants (HFT) are used in conjunction with forms of Antimony, such as antimony trioxide.
- Organphosphorous compounds: organophosphate (e.g., triphenyl phosphate), phosphonate and phosphinates. They can also be combined with halogens (e.g., tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate.
- Other Organics: Carboxylic acid, dicarboxylic acid, and some sulfates.
Note: Halogenated Flame Retardants (both option 2 and 3 above) are on the ILFI Red list of building materials.
Synonyms and Related Terms
fire retardant; retardateur de feu (Fr.); retardador de fogo (Port.); retardador de incêndio (Port.); intumescent coating; FRC; fire-retardant paint
- Chlorinated flame retardants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are toxic and were banned in the US in 1977
- Phosphorous flame retardants may be related to allergies, asthma and dermatitis
- Brominated flame retardants may be related to implications in maternal health and fetal development
- Most companies have been phasing out chlorinated and brominated flame retardants
Resources and Citations
- Wikipedia: Flame retardant (Accessed June 2023)
- ASTM, "Standard Terminology Relating to Paint, Varnish, Lacquer and Related Products", Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 6, Paints, Related Coatings and Aromatics, ASTM, D16, 7-Jan, Jul-96
- Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
- Rosalie Rosso King, Textile Identification, Conservation, and Preservation, Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ, 1985
- Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
- Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000