FLAME RETARDANTS AND THE FUTURE
It’s famously said “Prediction is very difficult, especially
if it’s about the future.” Fire safety will surely remain a primary
requirement for electronic and electrical equipment. In order
to ensure fire safety, there will be a need to incorporate flame
retardants into plastic systems forming part of such electronic and
electrical equipment that would otherwise pose a significant fire
Halogenated materials form by far the largest group of flame
retardants used in PCB materials with a global estimated market
share of greater than 80%. In Europe, the figure is estimated to be
closer to 95%.
UL has recognized that traditional FR-4  materials have evolved
in recent years and now represent a diverse family of materials. In
recognizing this, for testing purposes UL has now divided the FR-4
category into two sub-categories, FR4.0 and FR4.1
The new UL classifications of FR4.0 and FR4.1 divide the
materials into “brominated” and “non-halogen” respectively.
There is no clear scientific evidence based driver to restrict the
use of halogenated flame retardants. Legislation under REACH
and RohS II should be expected to apply rigorous scientific
methodology in assessing risks to human health; such studies
to date have not raised concerns about the continued use of
halogenated flame retardants.
Performance requirements are driving PCB materials suppliers
to develop materials for high-speed applications, while improving
electrical and thermal reliability. However, ultimately consumer
choice is also a driver and may well play into the market vector of
high-speed and high-reliability requirements.
Novista Group supplies DBDPE, BDDP, FR245, SR130 to global market.