Samyang enters full-scale mass production of eco-friendly additive-free transparent flame-retardant polycarbonate (T-FR PC)

  • Eco-friendly polycarbonate material that exhibits properties and transparency of general-purpose polycarbonate; Rated the highest V-0 on UL vertical burning test
  • Developed based on Si-PC that is highly chemical- and impact-resistant at low temperatures, overcoming the disadvantages of existing flame-retardant polycarbonate
  • To target the outdoor markets as well as electrical equipment, electronics, automobile, and construction markets, etc., that demand both flame retardancy and impact resistance at low temperatures
  • Can be engineered into thin film forms such as sheets and profiles; To expand the market by supplying base resin to compounders

SEOUL, South Korea, July 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Samyang Corporation sets out to achieve both eco-friendliness and high performance by developing an additive-free transparent flame-retarding polycarbonate.

Polycarbonate is a transparent, impact- and heat-resistant engineering plastic material often used for the interior and exterior finishes of vehicles, electronic appliances, soundproof walls, and medical device components.

Eco-friendly transparent flame-retardant polycarbonate developed by Samyang Corporation and thin transparent panels made of engineered T-FR PC
Eco-friendly transparent flame-retardant polycarbonate developed by Samyang Corporation and thin transparent panels made of engineered T-FR PC

Samyang Corporation (President: Kang Ho-sung), a Samyang Group affiliate specializing in chemicals and food, announced on the 20th that it has developed a transparent flame-retardant polycarbonate material with no flame retardant agent using its own in-house technology and established the system for full-scale mass production. Its eco-friendly T-FR PC will be manufactured at the Samyang Corporation’s Engineered Plastic Plant and Samyang Kasei Plant in Jeonju.

Flame-retardant polycarbonate is an essential material for heat-generating or fire-sensitive products. As a fire-vulnerable material may incur extensive damage related to secondary flames or toxic gases, flame-retardant materials are used in home appliances, interior and exterior finishes of vehicles, construction materials, and helmets to ensure safety.

While a flame-retardant agent is often added in the manufacturing of transparent flame-retardant polycarbonate, the use of such an agent reduces the material’s main advantages of transparency and impact-resistance. Flame-retardant additives also have a significant environmental impact. Halogen flame-retardant substances such as chlorine and bromine generate toxic gases when incinerated. The non-halogen substances that were previously considered alternatives have also been found to be potentially harmful.

Samyang Corporation’s new eco-friendly transparent flame-retardant polycarbonate is based on siloxane polycarbonate copolymer (Si-PC) that the company successfully localized in 2012 and uses an altered bonding structure without adding a flame-retardant additive, which gives it remarkably superior chemical resistance and impact resistance at low temperatures compared to ordinary polycarbonate. It also fulfills the criteria for V-0 rating, the highest vertical burn rating of UL 94 testing. UL 94 is a flammability test by Underwriters Laboratories, a US institution that develops and evaluates safety standards. The V-0 rating is given to plastic materials that stop burning within 10 seconds in a vertical burning test.

With improved impact resistance at low temperatures, chemical resistance, and transparency of its new material, Samyang Corporation is set to target the markets that demand flame-retardancy, transparency, and impact resistance at low temperatures at the same time—not only electrical equipment, electronics, and vehicles, but also outdoor lighting and displays, electric car chargers, exterior finishes of aircrafts, building interior and exterior finishes, medical equipment, etc.

The new T-FR PC can also be used for functional packing and diverse other industrial purposes that require both transparency and flame retardancy, as it maintains the same mechanical properties as general-purpose polycarbonate even when engineered into thin film forms such as 1mm-thick sheets or profiles.

The company will supply not only the product, but also its base resin (single-component plastic material) to other chemical companies in order to expand the market of eco-friendly transparent flame-retardant polycarbonate. Chemical companies can produce and sell compound materials tailored to different end-products, including buildings, automobiles, and aircrafts, by adding other substances to the base resin supplied by Samyang to achieve the desired properties.

Hyun-ho Park, Team Manager of Samyang Corporation stated, "Samyang Corporation’s eco-friendly transparent F-TR PC can be engineered into a thin transparent sheet just like general-purpose polycarbonate, but it is free of environmental concerns as it does not contain any additives. It is based on Si-PC that is highly impact-resistant at low temperatures, which makes it versatile for building exterior finishes, outdoor lighting, and many other uses." 

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